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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, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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