Putin denies Obama’s ‘one foot in past’ jibe at him

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today hit back sharply at a claim by US President Barack Obama that he has one foot stuck in the past of the Cold War.

"We don't stand bow-legged," Putin said in televised remarks on a visit to the southern Krasnodar region. "We are firmly standing on both our legs and always look to the future -- this is Russia's specialty and it is what has always allowed us to move forward and strengthen." In an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his visit to Moscow next week, Obama had said he believed "Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new." In contrast Obama said he had "a very good relationship" with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded Putin in the Kremlin last year but who is often seen as less influential than the strongman prime minister. Medvedev is 43 years old while Putin, a former KGB agent, is 56.

The US president is due to visit Moscow on July 6-8 in a bid to "reset" relations with Russia that were badly strained under the administration of George W. Bush.