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Obama Says Would 'Absolutely' Save Putin From Drowning

Published: April 26, 2014 (Issue # 1807)



  • Vladimir Putin swimming in a lake in Siberia's Tuva region in August 2009.
    Photo: Alexei Druzhinin / Pool / RIA Novosti

Tensions between Russia and the U.S. may remained strained, but U.S. President Barack Obama said he would "absolutely" save Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from drowning if such a situation were to arise.

Speaking at a press conference during his tour of South Korea, Obama said he would like to think he would save anyone from drowning not least the Russian president.

"I used to be a pretty good swimmer I grew up in Hawaii but I'm a little out of practice," Obama said in a video uploaded to YouTube.

Obama was responding to a comment made by Putin during his annual call-in show earlier this month.

When asked whether he thought Obama would save him from drowning, Putin said he was sure that the American president would do so, describing him as a "decent" and "courageous" man.

Obama's light-hearted response comes as the U.S. prepares to push for increased sanctions against Russia over its supposed unwillingness to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine, where separatists have seized several regional administrative buildings.

Obama said Friday he would be speaking with EU leaders later that day about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Reuters reported.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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