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MOSCOW, December 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Hostile Western forces, which tend to put an equal mark between Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Vladimir Putin of Russia, are seeking to push Russia from the world arena, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday in a televised phone-in question-and-answer session.
“I have heard such pronouncements. It was said not in relation to me, it was said in respect of Russia. Some seek to push Russia to clear the way to global dominance,” Putin said.
“They are still afraid of our nuclear potential because Russia is a strong irritant. More to it, we are pursuing an independent foreign policy. Somebody is not happy with that,” he said and added that all the same Russia “has more friends in the West than foes.”
Commenting on U.S. Senator John McCain’s pronouncements comparing Putin with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, the Prime Minister noted that the man himself had participated in the Vietnam war. “I think he has much blood of peaceful people on his hands and he seems to like all those awful scenes of Gaddafi’s murder televised worldwide,” he said. “Is that what they call a democracy?” Putin said about TV coverage of Gaddafi’s murder with no investigation or trial .
Putin recalled some facts from McCain’s biography. “Mr. McCain, as is known, was taken prisoner in Vietnam. He was kept not in a cell, but in a pit. He was kept there for years. Anyone would go off his trolley, so there is nothing strange about this,” he added.