2014-07-21T144015Z_1_LYNXMPEA6K0IL_RTROPTP_2_DOMINICANREPUBLIC

U.S. Vice President Biden says Putin has no soul: New Yorker

Biden attends a news conference in Santo DomingoVladimir Putin has no soul, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded after meeting with the Russian leader at the Kremlin in 2011, according to an article in the New Yorker published online on Monday. Biden told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader. “I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul,'” Biden told the magazine. “He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.'” Biden’s assessment is in stark contrast to that of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who famously said after his first meeting with Putin in 2001: “I looked the man in the eye … I was able to get a sense of his soul.” Biden’s comments were published as the United States and other Western powers expressed outrage with Russia over the downing last week of a Malaysian airliner over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists.

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