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By John Helmer in Moscow

Silvio Berlusconi, November 6, 2008:
“I don’t see problems for Medvedev to establish good relations with Obama who is handsome, young and suntanned.”

Russian anecdote: “The driver of a heavy tanker-truck, covered in mud and slush, is stopped in the centre of Moscow by a traffic policeman eager for a bribe. Citing the rule against dirty vehicles, the cop says: “That’s a fine of three hundred roubles!” The driver replies: “That’s not my dirt. It’s my suntan.”

Barack Obama, July 2, 2009:
“It’s important that even as we move forward with President Medvedev that Putin understand that the old cold war approach to U.S.-Russian relations is outdated — that it’s time to move forward in a different direction. I think Medvedev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new.”

Vladimir Putin, July 3, 2009:
“Russians don’t know how to stand so awkwardly with their legs apart. They stand solidly on their own two feet and always look into the future.”

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