UK & World News

  • 5 June 2014, 18:28

Putin Calls Hillary Clinton A 'Weak' Woman

Russian president Vladimir Putin has taken a swipe at former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, describing her as "weak" in disparaging remarks about women.

Mr Putin was asked about Ms Clinton's recent comparison of the Russian leader's Ukraine policy to Adolf Hitler's aggression in Eastern Europe in the 1930s.

In his interview with French television, Mr Putin said: "It's better not to argue with women. But Mrs Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements."

Mr Putin said that he met Ms Clinton when she was America's top diplomat "and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement."

But he said he found her attempts draw a parallel between him and Hitler too much.

"When people push boundaries too far, it's not because they are strong but because they are weak," said Mr Putin.

Speaking ahead of an official trip to France, he added: "But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman."

His remarks led the ex-partner of French President Francois Hollande to say she was glad she was no longer first lady as she did not wish to shake hands with Mr Putin.

Valerie Trierweiler officially split from Mr Hollande in January after a magazine revealed his affair with an actress Julie Gayet.

The Russian premier was meeting his French counterpart as world leaders gathered for commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings during World War Two, and for the G7 summit which Russia has been frozen out of over its annexation of Crimea.