Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a televised Q&A today that he thinks President Obama is “decent” for admitting he bungled Libya.
In an interview aired on Fox last Sunday, Obama was asked what he considered the “worst mistake” of his tenure.
“Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya,” the president replied.
At a marathon 80-question Q&A broadcast live on Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV that lasted 3 hours and 40 minutes, Putin was asked about that response.
“Firstly, this fact confirms once again that the current U.S. president is a decent person,” Putin said. “It’s very good that my colleague has the courage to make such statements — far from everyone can do that.”
Putin added that then-Sen. Obama criticized the Bush administration for the Iraq war “but, unfortunately, during his tenure as president he made the mistakes he spoke about — in Libya.”
“The bad thing is that this series of mistakes continues, because they nearly made the same mistake in Syria. We do not know how all this will end… Intensive cooperation is underway between our militaries, intelligence agencies and foreign ministries to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. I hope this joint work will lead us to a joint positive result, the way it was in other areas recently.”
Putin said he has “grounds to think” that the Kremlin’s relationship with the White House will be OK until “the very last moment” of Obama’s term.
Last year during a TV Q&A, Putin said he would save Obama if the U.S. president was drowning.
This year, Putin was asked — in a question purportedly submitted by a 12-year-old girl — if he would save Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“You have put me on the spot. I do not know what to say,” Putin replied. “I would say, you cannot save someone who has decided to drown. But of course we are ready to lend a helping hand and friendship to any of our partners, if they want to take it.”