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Putin criticizes ‘nice, beautiful’ US TV interviewer for not listening to his gas war argument

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Vladimir Putin has criticized a “beautiful” and “handsome” American newscaster for not listening to his argument about the gas war with Europe.

The Russian president accused CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble of pretending “didn’t hear” what he said after questioning his denial that Russia had withheld gas from Europe during an interview on stage in Moscow.

During the exchange, Putin also hinted that he could run for president again and remain in power until 2036.

Putin insisted that his country has always kept the taps to Europe open, including during the Cold War, and dismissed any suggestion that he is throttling supplies as “complete nonsense.”

He expressed irritation at Western claims that he has used gas as a weapon for geopolitical gain, and separately claimed that European leaders were “out of their minds” in the gas war.

During the interview during the Russian Energy Week, Putin taunted Gamble and told the audience: ‘Beautiful woman, beautiful, I tell her one thing. She immediately tells me the opposite as if she didn’t hear what I said. Well, I’ll repeat it for you one more time.’

At that point, Gamble cut in, telling the Russian president she had “heard” him, but claimed the Russians had taken “long enough” to deal with the gas supply problem.

Vladimir Putin criticized ‘beautiful’ and ‘beautiful’ CNBC News anchor Hadley Gamble (right) for not listening to his argument about the gas war with Europe

The Russian president accused CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble of pretending

The Russian president accused CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble of pretending “didn’t hear” what he said after questioning his denial that Russia had withheld gas from Europe during an interview on stage in Moscow.

CNBC news anchor Hadley Gamble

CNBC news anchor Hadley Gamble

During the tense exchange, Putin said: “Listen, you just said, ‘You don’t supply gas to Europe through pipelines’.” You are being misled.

‘We are increasing the supply to Europe. Gazprom by 10 percent. Russia has increased the supply by 15 percent. We increase, not decrease.’

Russian media said Putin had used the reference to her appearance to push Gamble back, but added that calling her “beautiful” was a “compliment.”

Putin also claimed that the US and other suppliers to Europe had reduced gas flows.

He said, ‘If we are asked to raise more, we are ready to raise more. we are increasing [supplies] for as much as our partners ask. There has been no rejection at all.’

Putin also rejected suggestions that he is exploiting the energy crisis to get the Nord Steam 2 pipeline approved as a “politically motivated blather” – though he added that opening the pipe gas prices ‘significantly lower’.

One of Russia’s main routes for pumping gas to Europe currently runs through Ukraine, bringing in about $1 billion a year in fees for the maintenance of the line.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline would bypass that route by going directly to Germany, robbing Ukraine of the money.

The move would also hurt Poland, which lies along another major gas route — a move that observers say would punish the two countries for their close ties to Europe.

In addition, it would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas, giving Putin power and power over the continent. The US has resisted the line for this reason.

Russia only completed construction on the line last month after Joe Biden lifted key sanctions that halted construction.

It now only needs approval from European regulators to start pumping gas.

Russia has linked the easing of Europe's gas crisis with the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (above), but experts say the Kremlin already has enough capacity to increase supplies without bringing the new route online (pictured)

Russia has linked the easing of Europe’s gas crisis with the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (above), but experts say the Kremlin already has enough capacity to increase supplies without bringing the new route online (pictured)

During the Gamble interview, Putin declined to say who he would anoint as his successor and hinted that he could face another six-year term in 2024.

Asked if he wanted to run for president until his 84th birthday, Putin replied: “I prefer not to answer such questions. There is still a lot of time until the next election.

“Conversations on this subject are disrupting the situation.”

In theory, the constitution would allow Putin two more full six-year terms, starting in 2024 and 2030.

“The situation must be calm and stable, so that all authorities, all state structures work with confidence and look calmly to the future,” he said. “Yes, the Constitution allows me to do it, to run for the next term. But no decisions have been made on that yet.’

If and when he quits, Putin would be a life senator with legal immunity.

Russians have produced memes showing what Putin – nine years younger than US President Joe Biden – would look like if he stays in power in the Kremlin until 2036.

Hadley Gamble, CNBC News Anchor and International Correspondent on horseback in St Petersburg, Russia, during St Petersburg Forum of Economics in June 2021

Hadley Gamble, CNBC News Anchor and International Correspondent on horseback in St Petersburg, Russia, during St Petersburg Forum of Economics in June 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin and CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble will attend the Russian Energy Week plenary session in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble will attend the Russian Energy Week plenary session in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday.

Although there has been speculation about his health – and he denied this week that he was suffering from Covid-19 – he recently started traveling again in Russia after the pandemic and is undertaking a grueling workload.

But he admits to almost daily medical checkups.

Russian top politician Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Russian upper house, told him in a television broadcast that his colleagues were “concerned” about his “health”.

“You were coughing during the meeting — we were all worried,” she told him. “We’re concerned about your health.”

He replied, ‘Don’t worry, everything is fine. Not only for Covid-19, but all other infections are tested almost daily. So everything is fine.’

A recent poll found that 47 percent of Russians were in favor of Putin staying in 2024, a 20-point drop in four years.

42 percent were against, while 11 percent were undecided.

Putin first became president on the last day of 1999 and has remained there ever since, except for a four-year stint between 2008 and 2012, when he was prime minister.

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