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MOSCOW – In a moment of candor, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, described his boss' frustration at the gulf between his and President Barack Obama's views on the Ukraine crisis.
Peskov told state run TV channel Rossya-24 Friday that, despite two lengthy phone calls and days of intense diplomacy, "we still hit a wall of no understanding.”
He said that despite "deep disagreement" with the West over Ukraine, Moscow hopes some common ground can be found and a new Cold War will not begin, Russian news agencies reported.
"There still remains hope...that some points of agreement can be found as a result of dialogue — which our partners, thank God, have not yet rejected," Peskov said.
"I believe that it [a new Cold War] has not started and I would like to believe it will not start," he said.
Putin, apparently, just can't comprehend why, after so much talk, Obama still frames the crisis as a Russian military intervention.
Obama, for his part, seems equally confounded by Putin’s inability to grasp the difference between advocating for Russian rights in Crimea...and invading a sovereign country.
"I know President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations," Obama quipped, on Tuesday, after Putin's hour and a half press conference.
Peskov added that the Kremlin fears ethnic cleansing if those behind the government overthrow in Kiev reach Crimea or Eastern Ukraine, according to Interfax, a non-governmental Russian news agency based in Moscow.
But, despite the communication blockage between the world's two most powerful men, Putin's internationally condemned actions have clearly resonated inside Russia: His latest approval rating is a whopping 70 percent, the highest since he began his third term two years ago.
Putin's aggressive posturing on Crimea appeals directly to the large majority of Russians who believe that the strategic peninsula was, is and will always be Russian. But why doesn't Obama see that?
“It's rather sad,” Peskov went on to say. “And what is worse, it is very bad from the point of view of possible repercussions.”
Reuters contributed to this report.