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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is known for his colorful language. In the past, he has recommended castration to a French reporter who questioned his actions in Chechnya, and warned rebels in the breakaway republic he would gun them down in their toilets.
So we should take as a good sign his response to Obama's biting remark that Putin has one leg stuck in the Cold War, with one looking forward.
"We are firmly standing on both our legs and always look to the future, this is Russia's specialty and it is what has always allowed us to move forward and strengthen," Putin said today during a visit to Krasnodar.
He said Moscow was awaiting the visit "with very warm feelings."
This kinder, gentler Putin is one we've not seen for a while. The tough-talking prime minister works better at making listeners squirm with admonitions and threats, than making warm overtures like the above. That bodes well for Obama's visit.