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Vladimir Putin on Mitt Romney: 'He Is an Open and Sincere Man' Who Says What He Means


"I am actually very grateful to him for formulating his position in a straightforward manner."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are unlikely to agree much on any issue. And should Romney be elected as the next president of the United States, the pair would likely agree on even less, as Romney has referred to Russia as the nation's No. 1 geopolitical foe in the past.

However, believe it or not, Putin actually had some kind words to say about Romney during a press briefing with reporters last week, according to the Washington Post. The Russian leader said Romney's directness when talking about issues lets his country know exactly where he stands and reinforces Putin's opposition to a missile defense shield in Europe.

“That Mr. Romney considers us enemy number one and apparently has bad feelings about Russia is a minus, but, considering that he expresses himself bluntly, openly and clearly, means that he is an open and sincere man, which is a plus,” Putin reportedly said after a meeting with Serbia’s president.

“We will be oriented toward pluses, not minuses,” Putin add. “And I am actually very grateful to him for formulating his position in a straightforward manner.”

It should be noted that there was a hint of sarcasm in Putin's remarks, according to the report. Putin in the past has also complimented President Barack Obama for his sincerity when dealing with foreign nations.

More from the Washington Post:

Romney’s characterization of Russia earlier this year as the United States’ No. 1 geopolitical foe caught the attention of Russian officials, and engendered scorn in the media. But Putin views the United States as Russia’s main adversary — that is, a competitor, not an enemy, as Georgy Mirsky, an expert on Russia’s Middle East policy, pointed out in a recent interview.

Putin may see where Romney is coming from. In the Russian presidential campaign last winter, he and his allies heaped abuse on the United States. They accused it of financing and leading political protests in Russia; organized groups that badgered U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul; and denounced U.S. intentions in Syria as well as what Russia considered an American double cross on Libya.

Russian officials are furious about Congress’s Magnitsky bill — which would impose visa and financial sanctions on identified human rights abusers in Russia — and have promised to retaliate if it becomes law. (The White House has resisted the measure.)

How sincere Putin is about Obama and Romney is anyone's guess, but during an interview with the state-run RT TV channel, the leader said he could deal with a President Romney.

“We’ll work with whoever gets elected as president by the American people,” he added.

Read the entire Washington Post report here.

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