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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputy Says Putin is No Popeye

In what is becoming a testy run-up to a meeting of Russian and U.S. lawmakers this week, Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, accused his U.S. counterpart Tom Lantos on Tuesday of stirring up anti-Russian sentiment.

Kosachyov said Lantos had "breached elementary rules of political ethics" by comparing President Vladimir Putin to the cartoon character Popeye.

Lantos said Monday that Russia was "eating the spinach of petroleum revenues, and the billions are flowing into the Kremlin." Putin's "muscles bulge more powerfully" with "every billion," Lantos said.

"There are bounds that one must not trespass," Kosachyov told reporters Tuesday in Moscow, Interfax reported.

Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Kosachyov are to meet Thursday in Washington at a meeting between their two committees, the first such session to be held in public.

MT, Reuters