The Oil and the Glory

Vladimir Putin: Friend of animals and trees

In the spirit of the pleasant Sunday, Drugoi, one of Russia’s most popular bloggers, has posted a video link to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit yesterday to Losiny Ostrov National Park. Putin, known for intimidating tigers, European journalists, and generally anyone from Georgia or Ukraine, was downright huggy and warm as he welcomed World Environment ...

ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images
ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images

In the spirit of the pleasant Sunday, Drugoi, one of Russia’s most popular bloggers, has posted a video link to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit yesterday to Losiny Ostrov National Park. Putin, known for intimidating tigers, European journalists, and generally anyone from Georgia or Ukraine, was downright huggy and warm as he welcomed World Environment Day, feeding a moose calf and planting a tree.

Relations with Russia in general have appeared to bear more fruit as part of what the Obama Administration called a "reset" of relations between Moscow and Washington. That has been the case, for example, in Moscow rejecting the Turkish-Brazilian deal with Iran on uranium enrichment, and supporting new sanctions.

So one wonders where this fuzzy-and-squeeziness is headed, if anywhere. Will Putin plant one on President Obama’s cheek the next time they meet? Will he massage Angela Merkel’s shoulders?

May we suggest, in case Putin is seeking ideas:

**A cognac tipple with Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili next Feb. 23? Friendship in the neighborhood would go far, especially in providing Moscow again with Borjomi water.

**House arrest in Moscow for Mikhail Khodorkovsky? The former oligarch merely aspired to run the Duma after all, and whatever the case you have the body all tied up now.

**A brotherly handshake with Boris Berezovsky?

Ummm … maybe not.

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