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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zhirinovsky Puts On a New Face

WASHINGTON -- Eight years ago, Vladimir Zhirinovsky stunned Russians and Americans when he emerged as a major political force, campaigning for the reinstatement of the empire and an end to Moscow's flirtation with America.

When the "new" Zhirinovsky appeared before reporters in Washington on Monday, the politics of provocation were gone, replaced by something far more conventional. He called for broad cooperation between the United States and Russia and said he could even envision the day when the two nations could merge into a "north Atlantic state."

Zhirinovsky, head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, was attending a conference of lawmakers. Moscow and Washington, he said, should cooperate more against terror, with Russia using its influence to pressure Palestinians, North Koreans and Iraqis toward moderation. Zhirinovsky counseled against use of military force against Iraq. This, he said, would rally Iraqis in support of President Saddam Hussein in much the same way that Russians closed ranks behind Stalin during World War II.