Who is Hadley Gamble? Putin taunts ‘beautiful’ CNBC news anchor with sexist remarks
Vladimir Putin called out an American news anchor for ignoring his comments about the gas war with Europe. He also landed a backhanded compliment about her looks, implying she was too 'beautiful' to be intelligent. The 69-year-old Russian leader was giving an interview to CNBC's journalist Hadley Gamble at Russian Energy Week, where he insisted that he has never closed the taps into Europe and denied weaponizing gas for geopolitical gains.
Addressing Gamble, Putin said: “Beautiful woman, pretty, I'm telling her one thing. She instantly tells me the opposite as if she didn't hear what I said. Well, I'll repeat it for you once again.” But when the journalist responded by cutting him in-between his statement and told the President that she “heard” him just fine, while mentioning that her point was why the world's largest country had taken so much time to take note of the gas supply issue. Putin replied: “Listen, you've just said, ‘You don't supply gas to Europe through pipelines.’ You are being misled.'”
He added, “We are increasing supplies to Europe. Gazprom by 10 per cent. Russia has increased supplies by 15 per cent. We are increasing, not decreasing supplies.” Putin also went on to blame the US and other gas suppliers to Europe for the shortage of flows. “If we are asked to increase more, we are ready to increase more. We are increasing [supplies] for as much as our partners ask for. There has been no single rejection,” he claimed.
The supreme leader of Russia also denied allegations of exploiting the energy crisis to get approval for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Currently, Russia passes gas into Europe through Ukraine, which makes $1billion per year in fees. But if the Nord Stream 2 pipeline gets complete, Russia won’t need Ukraine’s help and would directly provide gas to Germany. Not just Ukraine, Poland would also face a loss because it is another major gas route. Apart from these issues, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would make Europe more dependent on Russian gas.
During the interview, when it came to his future plans, Putin — who first became president on the last day of 1999 — hinted that he might again become the leader of Russia. Gamble asked her about his successor, but he replied, “I prefer not to answer such questions. There is quite a lot of time until the next elections. Talks about this subject destabilise the situation,” before adding, “The situation has to be calm, stable, so that all authoritative bodies, all state structures work with confidence and calmly look into the future. Yes the Constitution allows me to do it, to run for the next term. But there were no decisions made about it yet.”
Meanwhile, there were speculations that Putin was suffering from coronavirus, but he refuted those reports. Also, when politician Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Russian upper house, told him in a televised broadcast: “You were coughing at the meeting - we were all worried. We're worried about your health,” he responded, “Don't worry, everything is fine. Not only for Covid-19, but all other infections are tested almost daily. So everything is fine."