Saturday, March 07, 2009

The State Department's Language Problem

Remember that I seemingly caught out the State Department for not knowing Polish? (here)

Well, they don't know Russian either:-

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in greeting Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, presented him with a red plastic button emblazoned with the English word “reset” and the Russian word “peregruzka.”

The gift was a play on Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s call in Munich last month for the two countries to “press the reset button” on their relationship.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word,” Mrs. Clinton said, handing the button to Mr. Lavrov. “Do you think we got it?”

“You got it wrong,” he replied, explaining that the Americans had come up with the Russian word for overcharged.

“We won’t let you do that to us,” she said quickly, with a full-throated laugh.

Pretty stupid if you ask me.

And there's this there:

Russia has signed a contract to supply Iran with long-range S-300 missiles, which experts say Tehran could use to defend its nuclear facilities from an American or Israeli strike. The missiles have not been delivered, but it is not clear whether that is a gesture to the Obama administration.

Mr. Lavrov did not clear things up, saying that Russia’s arms sales to Iran were fully legal, but that Moscow understood that the issue stirred uneasiness in the United States and Israel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Smart Diplomacy" (TM) at work!