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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Responds to Obama's Criticism

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama is wrong to suggest that he remains partially mired in a Cold War mindset.

Putin responded with characteristically colorful language to a comment made by Obama in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press. Obama said Putin needs to understand "that the old Cold War approaches to U.S.-Russian relations are outdated, that it's time to move forward in a different direction."

Obama said he believes that President Dmitry Medvedev "understands that," but that Putin "has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new."

Putin responded Friday by saying Russians don't know how to stand so awkwardly with their legs apart, state news agencies reported. Instead, Putin said they "stand solidly on their own two feet and always look into the future."

Obama makes his first trip as U.S. president to Russia for talks on Monday and Tuesday.

His remarks suggested that he sees Putin as a potential obstacle to improving ties after years of increasing acrimony. Putin was a frequent critic of the United States during his eight years as Russia's president, before he became prime minister last year.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov also responded Friday to Obama's comment, saying the U.S. president was wrong about the prime minister. "Such a point of view has nothing to do with a true understanding of Putin," he said, and suggested the reason for Obama's view was simply that he "has not yet spoken with Putin — they are not acquainted."

"By all appearances he does not have full information about [Putin's] views," Peskov said, adding that Obama's planned breakfast meeting with Putin on Tuesday should clear the air.

"I am convinced that after this meeting, president [Obama] will change his point of view about [Putin]," he said.

Putin on Friday also called on the United States to move relations forward by shelving plans for a missile defense shield in Europe, news agencies reported.

Putin was quoted as saying if Washington changed its approach to expanding military alliances — a clear reference to NATO — it would also move relations forward with Moscow.

"If we see [that] our American partners refrain from deploying new missile complexes, anti-missile defense systems, or, for example, review their approach to widening military-political blocs, or generally refrain from bloc-like thinking, this would be a big movement forward," Putin said while on an agricultural inspection in Russia's southern Krasnodar region, Interfax reported.

"We are ready for effective cooperation — we really expect a lot of the new administration," Putin said. (AP, Reuters)