Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had better things to do – he was away in Beijing for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). In Beijing, Putin bluntly told the US not to intimidate Iran, stressing that more sanctions were “premature”; what was needed was an “agreement”. Hillary was thrown by judo expert Putin – and she did not even see it coming. Yet Hillary still had time to spin on American TV that if the “international community” approved more sanctions on Iran, Russia would follow.
That’s not what Putin – or Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – said, or what the leadership in Beijing thinks.
Lavrov, although slightly more diplomatic than Putin, defined sanctions as “counter-productive”. That’s still essentially Putin – and Beijing – thinking. As for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he may have implied no opposition to further sanctions – but as a last resort, and way, way further in the future, not by the imminent December deadline flashing red in Washington’s minds.