Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of sexism after he said a US news anchor was “too beautiful and pretty” to understand him. President Putin made the remark during a live public interview with CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble at a panel in Moscow for Russian Energy Week. Ms Gamble quizzed the Russian leader about claims that the country was withholding gas supplies to Europe in a bid to drive up prices and put pressure on European leaders.
This comes as many in the West have accused Russia of weaponising its control of natural gas supplies to Europe.
Analysts suggest this could be used to convince European regulators to approve the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Mr Putin was accused of ‘mansplaining’ the gas crisis to the business news anchors.
He said: “Beautiful woman, pretty, I’m telling her one thing.
“She instantly tells me the opposite, as if she didn’t hear what I said. Well, I’ll repeat it for you once again.”
Ms Gamble rebuked the Russian leader, telling him face-to-face that she “heard” him perfectly.
A visibly frustrated Mr Putin retorted: “Listen, you’ve just said: ‘You don’t supply gas to Europe through pipelines.’
“You are being misled. We are increasing supplies to Europe.
“Gazprom by 10 percent. Russia has increased supplies by 15 percent.
The Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom completed the contentious Nord Stream 2 that aims to double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany, and bypass Poland and Ukraine.
In July, the US and Germany reached a deal to allow its completion without US sanctions on German entities.
In another interview with Ms Gamble, Mr Putin hinted he could remain in power for two more six-year terms until 2036, when he would be 84.
When asked if he would seek further terms, Mr Putin said: “Yes the Constitution allows me to do it, to run for the next term.
“But there were no decisions made about it yet.”