Putin's Op-Ed Is Cynical, Obnoxious: Kupchan

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- On today's "Global Outlook," Charles Kupchan, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in the New York Times. He speaks with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

We are asking today whether vladimir putin is trying to win the war of words against president obama.

A senior fellow at the council for foreign relations joins us now from washington dc.

Is putin trying to take advantage of this situation where you have a seemingly passive president when it comes to military action?

A president who is going to congress to ask permission, is this an opportunity for putin to try to exercise his political might?

Putin over the last couple of years since he came back to the kremlin as president hasn't missed any opportunity to try to trip up the u.s. government or to stick his thumb in obama's i. i think what he has done here is cnn opening because obama had gone to congress and the effort to convince them to say yes to military force did not go particularly well.

Now he's stepped into the lurch and used this op-ed to portray russia as the main advocate of international law and peace and dialogue.

But it's a pretty cynical and almost obnoxious op-ed because the reality is russia has been supporting the killing machine in syria since the civil war broke out.

And in general, it's not a force behind the rule of law either at home or abroad great -- at home or abroad.

Is he trying to restore what he would see as russia possibly this?

Prior to the cold war, this country had a lot of pride.

The coming down of the soviet union, the oil boom that followed has divided them with some economic strength.

Is this something he views as his opportunity right now to try to make russia from a prestige viewpoint big again?

I think you put your finger on it.

The putin presidency has really been about trying to make russians deal like they live in a great our again.

During the yeltsin era, the economy collapsed, the infrastructure, the oil infrastructure, everything went down the tubes.

Then putin comes back, gives the economy on its feet, oil prices go up and the government is flush with cash and he starts flexing russia's muscles again.

And the nsa incident with edward snowden.

It's one thing after another.

Giving safe harbor to snowden, banning the adoption of russian kids by american parents.

He takes on the this old offense and nato expansion.

He is using standing up to the united states as his own calling card at home.

Brinkley, it tends to work.

He has maintained surprising popularity even though he's got an opposition that has taken to the streets.

Teddy roosevelt, the best defense is a good offense.

I'm sure to -- i'm curious to get your take on the rebuttal -- there are two ways to interpret what was written today.

That we can meet aided into an argument or he can say you clearly want some sort of diplomatic solution and the "washington post was quote suggest going with the latter trade i would not stoop to putin's level on this.

At the bottom line is now in russia's court.

You have our secretary of state and there's talking to each other in geneva today.

If they can somehow convince the syrians to come clean and get rid of their chemical weapons, to move into the chemical weapons convention in a serious, verifiable, timely way, more power to him.

I have to say i'm skeptical.

I'm not holding my breath on this agreement.

Do you blame president obama for giving putin and opportunity?

I don't blame president obama.

I think he was in a real political pickle here at home because the numbers were not adding up, particularly in the house.

He was probably not going to get authorization.

Under those circumstances, he didn't have much choice but to try the diplomatic game.

It's open works.

Today, there's a reasonable good press conference between the secretary of state and the foreign minister of russia.

But again, the proof is in the pudding.

Who wants to send inspectors into a country that is at civil war?

It's really hard to see

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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