Obama would save a drowning Putin: report
April 26, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
SEOUL--It's official: even though they are involved in the worst East-West clash since the Cold War, Barack Obama would save Vladimir Putin from drowning.
Obama on Friday delivered his answer to a question posed to Putin during a live television appearance earlier this month — would his U.S. rival come to his rescue?
Putin answered by saying that though he did not have a special personal relationship with Obama, he thought the U.S. leader was "a decent and brave person."
"And of course, he would."
In a rare moment of humor at an alarming moment of the Ukraine crisis, Obama confirmed he would indeed throw the Russian leader a lifeline, when questioned by a U.S. journalist.
"I absolutely would save Mr. Putin if he were drowning," Obama said.
"If anybody is out there drowning, I would save them.
"I used to be a pretty good swimmer, I grew up in Hawaii," Obama said, before adding with a rueful smile: "I am a little bit out of practice."
In a news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Obama also cast his own judgment on Putin's character.
"Mr. Putin is not a stupid man," Obama said, reasoning that the Russian leader had acknowledged that Western sanctions imposed as a result of Russia's annexation of Crimea were having an impact on the Russian economy.