Russian President Vladimir Putin has waded into US politics, describing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, as "weak" in some sarcastic comments about women.
In an interview on French television on Wednesday, Putin was asked about Clinton's recent remarks that the Russian leader was trying to redraw the boundaries in eastern Europe just like German's Adolf Hitler did in the 1930s.
"It's better not to argue with women," Putin replied, adding: "But Mrs Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements."
Putin said that he met Clinton when she was the top US diplomat "and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement".
But as the Russian leader has come under fire in the West for his aggressive policies in Ukraine and Moscow's annexation of Crimea, he did not hide that he found Clinton's Hitler-like comments extreme.
"When people push boundaries too far, it's not because they are strong but because they are weak," said Putin, who then went on. "But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman."
The French reporters pressed Putin about whether he wanted to get back at Clinton or laugh it off.
"Someday I will indulge myself and we will laugh together at some good joke," he responded.
But Putin didn't stop at that. "When I hear such extreme statements, to me it only means that they don't have any valid arguments.
"Speaking of US policy, it's clear that the United States is pursuing the most aggressive and toughest policy to defend their own interests. At least this is how the American leaders see it, and they do it persistently."More on this: