President Obama managed to squeeze in some remarks about nuclear non-proliferation in his economic stimulus talk yesterday, saying, “One of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it’s important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this.” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has struck a similarly conciliatory tone about nukes lately. After meeting with Joe Biden in Munich, Ivanov said, “I believe some special mechanism will be created on this score and negotiations will start quite quickly and actively as soon as the U.S. side is ready for them.”
Of course, the job of another high ranking Russian mouthpiece also includes dispelling rumors that Vladimir Putin didn’t actually fly in the ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again to play a secret concert at a remote location 200 miles north of Moscow recently; nor, apparently, did he dance a midnight jig while his country fell apart at the seams.
“I don’t know who their audience consisted of, but Mr Putin was not one of them,” said a spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. “By the way, he is more of a Beatles fan than an Abba one.”
Not so says Aileen McLaughlin, who performs in the band as ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog:
“It was the smallest audience we have ever performed to but Mr Putin was really enjoying it, shouting ‘bravo’ and clapping with the others. He was dancing along in his seat to Super Trouper and raised his hands in the air during Mamma Mia when we asked the audience to.”