Aug. 2 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls the United States a ''parasite'' on the world economy. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Tough talk from Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about the United States. After weeks of haggling by U.S. lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling, Putin accuses the US of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy. SOUNDBITE: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, saying (English): "They (the U.S.) are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy. To some extent they are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar," In an open-air meeting with young Russians he expressed relief about the debt agreement. SOUNDBITE: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, saying (English): "U.S. economy is one of the locomotions of the world economy, this is an obvious fact, and if over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone. This is not only about countries like Russia and China holding a significant part of their reserves in American securities - although if they fail it will be very bad for us - but this is not even the problem. The problem is that there could be a systemic malfunction in the economy on the whole." U.S.- Russian ties soured during Putin's presidency but have warmed significantly since his protégé and successor President Dmitry Medvedev responded to American call for a "reset" in bilateral relations. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters