#2 - JRL 7252
U.S. PUBLIC OPINION OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT
MOSCOW, July 16, 2003 (from a RIA Novosti correspondent) -Americans consider Putin a courageous man because of his principled position in the conflict around Iraq. This opinion was expressed today by American journalists at a RIA Novosti round table on Russia's economic development.
A group of political and economic observers from the leading U.S. publications are in Moscow at an invitation of the Russian side.
Americans consider Putin courageous because he opposed Bush in the war on Iraq, believes Georgie Anne Geyer, a United Press Syndicate columnist. Political columnist Philip Terzian added that the Americans regard Putin as "intelligent, able and dynamic".
At the same time, the U.S. citizens are somewhat concerned about Putin's "professional background".
"Average Americans are concerned about Putin's KGB record, but they forget that Bush Sr. used to lead the CIA," director of Cybercast News Services Scott Hogenson said. He believes this to be an after-sound of the Cold War.
We realise that there is a colossal political and economic gap [between our countries] and nobody expected Russia to evolve so fast, Terzian said.
According to him, now is the best time for foreign investment to go to Russia.