Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a tense interview to Austria’s ORF television channel which at times got so heated, he spoke in German to ask host Armin Wolf to let him finish his answers.
The interview was held ahead of Putin’s Tuesday meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache during a trip to Vienna, the first since Putin’s March inauguration to his second consecutive term (and fourth term in total).
After several interruptions by Wolf, Putin asked the host to “be patient,” before switching to Wolf’s mother tongue of German to ask him to put a cork in it. “Seien Sie so nett, lassen Sie mich etwas sagen (Please be so kind as to let me say something),” said Putin.
When the topic of troll farms came up, Putin said that Moscow “has nothing to do” with it, adding that claims by Western media that a single Russian businessman, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was able to influence the US election is a fairy tell for children, not adults.
Prigozhin and Putin are associates, however Putin said he has no knowledge of his online activities. The Russian president then brought up George Soros as an example of the double standards being applied to those accused of meddling in foreign affairs.
“There are rumors circulating now that Mr. Soros is planning to make the Euro highly volatile,” Putin said quoted by RT. “Experts are already discussing this. Ask the [US] State Department why he is doing this. The State Department will say that it has nothing to do with them – rather it is Mr. Soros’ private affair. With us, it is Mr. Prigozhin’s private affair. This is my answer. Are you satisfied with it?”