Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Putin Keeps Foreign Leaders Waiting an Average of 78 Minutes Each, Vostretsova Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 20 – The decision of the Singapore prime minister to cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin when the Kremlin leader showed up an hour late calls attention to the fact that Putin has a long history of keeping others waiting, whether they are world leaders or people at home in Russia, Yekaterina Vostretsova says. 

            If Putin’s late arrival in Singapore had been the first such “delay” by the Russian “’monarch,’” she writes on the Forum-MSK.ru portal, “the international community might have shown understanding.” But since it is the latest in a long line of such behavior by Putin, it didn’t (forum-msk.org/material/news/15187782.html).

                Instead, commentators in many countries pointed out the many occasions in the past when Putin turned up late, including most recently at the session in Paris on the centenary of the end of World War I, the Helsinki summit, and the record he set in making Chancellor Merkel of Germany wait four hours and 15 minutes.

            Vostretsova says that she calculates that Putin on average makes foreign leaders wait 78 minutes after the time scheduled for their sessions with him.  The reasons this graduate of the Leningrad yards ignores “the elementary rules of politeness and international etiquette” are obvious, she continues.

            Being late is designed to “show the counterpart who is dictating the conditions of the talks, a purely ‘Chekist’ tactic of manipulating the latter even before the start of the talks,” to make the interlocutor nervous and put him off his game, and to disrupt any plans the latter had had for the talks.

            Finally, in the person of the Singapore prime minister, someone has responded correctly to Putin’s boorishness. Who will be next?

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