ET: NEW YORK: Having outfoxed him on Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pipped Barack Obama to the title of the world’s most powerful leader as ranked by Forbes on Wednesday.
It was the first time in three years that the US president has dropped to second place on the magazine’s list and came as US-Russia relations slid to a new low.
Putin, who has enjoyed 13 years of dominant rule over Russia, was again elected president in March 2012.
Obama, on the other hand, has just emerged scathed from an embarrassing 16-day US government shutdown caused by a budget and debt crisis in Washington.
“Putin has solidified his control over Russia, while Obama’s lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president – latest example: the government shutdown mess,” wrote Forbes.
In August, Russia granted asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, wanted in the United States over a mammoth intelligence leak.
A month later, Putin played the trump card again by averting Obama’s threatened missile strikes on Syria with a plan for Damascus to hand over chemical weapons.
Categories: Europe and Australia