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MOSCOW, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin believes his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, has demonstrated courage as a human being and as a politician in the settlement of the Syrian problem. The Russian president said this late on Thursday at a dinner with members of the Valdai Discussion Club, one of those invited to the dinner told Itar-Tass on Friday.
He cited the words of one of American members of the club who said that coming up with the initiative on the Syrian chemical weapons, Putin had helped Barack Obama to “save the face.” The Russian president however disagreed, noting that the U.S. president “does not really need to save the face.”
“Many of the U.S. former president desperately needed a blitzkrieg during their presidential terms, for instance wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan,” the source cited the Russian president. “This time, certain forces are pressing Obama for such a war.”
But, according to Putin, “in this case, Obama demonstrated not his weakness but absolute human and political courage, when he understood that such a war would run counter to the interests of the American people. That is why he [President Obama] does not any help in saving the face. He displayed courage.”
On Thursday, President Putin took part in a panel meeting of the Valdai club and answered questions of those present for three hours. After that, he met with the club members in an informal surrounding at a cocktail party and later on Thursday gave a dinner for the club’s activists. According to one of those invited, there were quite a few people at the dinner, including former Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy and Francois Fillon, and German former Defence Minister Volker Ruhe.