Putin goes gangsta

You gotta love it when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin goes uncensored while on official business, as he did during talks with Nicolas Sarkozy when the French president was at the Kremlin trying to forge a cease-fire after Russia invaded Georgia. In an attempt to illustrate just how hard he planned to lay the smack ...

591534_081113_gangsta2.jpg
591534_081113_gangsta2.jpg

You gotta love it when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin goes uncensored while on official business, as he did during talks with Nicolas Sarkozy when the French president was at the Kremlin trying to forge a cease-fire after Russia invaded Georgia. In an attempt to illustrate just how hard he planned to lay the smack down on Georgia, Putin told Sarkozy, "I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls," referring to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Wait, it gets better:

Mr Sarkozy responded: "Hang him?"

You gotta love it when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin goes uncensored while on official business, as he did during talks with Nicolas Sarkozy when the French president was at the Kremlin trying to forge a cease-fire after Russia invaded Georgia. In an attempt to illustrate just how hard he planned to lay the smack down on Georgia, Putin told Sarkozy, “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” referring to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Wait, it gets better:

Mr Sarkozy responded: “Hang him?”

“Why not? The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein,” said Mr Putin.

Mr Sarkozy replied, using the familiar “tu”: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then replied: “Ah, you have scored a point there.”

The inside info on the Godfather-esque sitdown is via Sarkozy’s chief foreign policy advisor, Jean-David Levitte, who disclosed the details of the French president’s August meeting with Putin to Le Nouvel Observateur today. According to Levitte, Sarkozy was aware of Putin’s plan to oust Saakashvili and warned against it.

Sarkozy reassured Saakashvili in Paris today that he’d be looking out for Georgia during tomorrow’s meeting with EU leaders and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Nice.

On French radio, also today, the Georgian president reacted to Putin’s threat by laughing nervously, responding that he’d heard something of the comments but not in such detail. “It’s funny, all the same,” he told the interviewer.

Photo: FILE; HRVOJE POLAN/AFP/Getty Images

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