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The world has known Russian President Putin to be a man who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. He certainly isn’t the shy and retiring type. That's why last week I was surprised to see Putin asking very nicely and gently for the world expo to be held in Russia in 2020, please.
Having sat with him at close quarters, I was stunned by this Putin. He seemed so soft and tame. Perhaps it was because uncharacteristically, he was speaking in English. Now, to be fair, at least he can speak English – and quite well. Very few American or British leaders can speak any language other than English. Remember Newt Gingrich's bilingual apology a few years ago?
Or there’s President Obama trying his hand at Hebrew. Maybe they should all listen to Tony Blair, who admitted that trying to speak French was a bad idea – but then again, he tried it anyway.
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