Final Word from Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By an unpredictable confluence of events, Dmitri Medvedev'srecent visit to Prague is turning into a bit of a retroactive PR calamity.The list of bloopers from the visit itself is long - the Castlecensorship of questions about the Russian elections, VáclavKlaus's own defense by omission of the elections, his carelessuse of "Soviet" once for "Russian," his shameless support for theRussian bid for Temelín, the bone-chilling exchange betweenthe two presidents about Russia using it euros to buy crowns.Add to this the Kremlin's diplomatic pettiness of not posting itscondolences on the death of Václav Havel, which the pro-Havelcamp has jumped on. The logical next step for the anti-Klausesis to mount a campaign to exclude Russia from the Temelín bidon security and Havelian grounds. A wise Russian said recently,with regard to Putin, that when such a small man casts sucha long shadow, you know the sun is setting. It is much too earlyto predict the twilight of Putin's Russia, but its relations withthe CR have taken an unexpected turn for the worse.

Glossary of difficult words

confluence - a gathering, flowing, or meeting together at one juncture or point;

blooper - a clumsy mistake, esp. one made in public; a faux pas;

omission - exclusion, leaving out;

bone-chilling - penetrating, disturbing or intense in emotional or physical effect;

pettiness - narrowness of mind, ideas or views;

twilight - a period or condition of decline following growth, glory or success.

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