Hillary: Putin Wants to Make 'Mother Russia' Superpower Again

Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 02:34 PM

By Greg Richter

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As Secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Clinton presented a symbolic "reset button" to her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, which was intended as a reset of relations with America's Cold War adversary.

Clinton now says Russian President Vladimir Putin has dashed all hopes of a "reset" with his takeover of Crimea and moves into eastern Ukraine.

"I was among the most skeptical of Putin during the time that I was there [in the Obama administration], in part because I thought he'd never given up on his vision of bringing Mother Russia back to the forefront," Clinton said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

Clinton said she has always known that Putin was the power behind former President Dmitry Medvedev when Putin served as prime minister. Still, she said, Putin had given Medvedev a certain amount independce to "make the reset a success."

When the two swapped positions in 2012 amid election irregularities, she expressed concern that the Russian public was not being well represented.

"And I certainly made my views known in meetings, as well as in memos to the president," Clinton told Zakaria. "I think that what may have happened is that both the United States and Europe were really hoping for the best from Putin as a returned president. And I think we've been quickly, unfortunately, disabused of those hopes."


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