Moscow says its criticism of Obama not personal

"It's true that during the period of the presidency of Mr. Obama our relations seriously worsened on all levels," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Obama's last full working day as US leader before Donald Trump is sworn in Friday.

Moscow says its criticism of Obama not personal

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia had criticised a lot of Washington's policy during President Barack Obama's two terms in office, but it was not personal, the Kremlin said Thursday, while blaming the United States for the worse relations since the Cold War ended.

"Over many years, the past decade, the US has repeatedly conducted rather unfriendly actions toward our country," Peskov told journalists.

He mentioned the US missile defence system in Europe and "aggressive behaviour by security services towards Russia".

He also pointed to the financing of non-governmental organisations in Russia which "engaged in political activity" among the longstanding disagreements between the two powers.

Despite US top diplomats famously pressing the "reset" button to jump-start relations in 2009, during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, ties between Moscow and Washington deteriorated sharply in subsequent years, particularly after Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.

While he and ex-US president George W. Bush, who famously claimed to see Putin's "soul" through his eyes, had good personal rapport, Putin and Obama were seen to hold cold and awkward personal meetings.

Obama has also been a regular subject of racist attacks in Russia, including a pro-Kremlin lawmaker tweeting a collage juxtaposing the US leader with a banana once, though Peskov stressed that Russian officials have refrained from personal attacks.

"As for personal attacks, as far as I know, on the official level nobody allows this," he said, stressing Moscow's "respect to a president of any foreign state especially the United States."

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2017, 17:25
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