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Ehud Barak Compliments Putin on Mideast Policy

Former prime minister Says Russia 'dealt in an extremely disciplined and responsible way' with Syria and Iran crises.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/28/2014, 8:29 AM

Former prime minister Ehud Barak paid high compliments to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a television interview for the RT news network, which is identified with Putin's regime, and hinted that US President Obama is too ideologically rigid.

“I think that President Putin behaved in an extremely responsible way and I don't want to go into details, in regard to both these crises – both in Syria and in Iran,” Barak told Oksana Boyko, host of Worlds Apart.

He appeared to compare Putin favorably with US President Barack Obama, when he said – “Russians in top positions always told me, 'We don't want to deal with our allies the way that the Americans dealt with Mubarak,' which is a very live example in the minds of many.

“But in many other ways,” Barak went on, “Putin dealt in an extremely disciplined and responsible way in regard to how to support to an extent his allies, oppose them when they are wrong, but basically don't the whole thing deteriorate out of any kind of control.”

He also complimented Putin's approach to Jews. “Israel always has a special filter to look at things and that is the attituded toward Jews,” he explained. “Putin, when you compare him to the people who sat in the Kremlin in the last 500 years, 600 years, he is the most open one, and I look at the attitude to Jews from the Kremlin as telling, and Putin has the most kind of open, normal, intuitive [approach].”

Barak said that under Obama, there is “unprecedented intimacy” in Israel-US defense ties and that Obama is "an extremely intelligent person with good intentions" but hinted that he is not realistic about what can be achieved and that he does not understand that sometimes there is more than one perspective on an issue.