Thursday, February 11, 2010

Russian envoy uses Twitter diplomacy

(AFP)

MOSCOW — Russia's ambassador to NATO said Wednesday in a post on his Twitter feed that the proverbial Russian bear would "kick the ass" of the United States and its allies if cornered by a new US missile shield.

The ambassador, Dmitry Rogozin, posted the message in response to recent reports that Moscow's Cold War ally Romania had agreed to host interceptor missiles as part of a revised US missile defence system.

"The Americans and their allies again want to surround the cave of the Russian bear?" Rogozin tweeted, along with a link to a news report about the Romania decision.

"How many times must they be reminded how dangerous this is!? The bear will come out and kick the ass of these pathetic hunters," he added in his next tweet, writing in Russian.

An English translation of the same two tweets on Rogozin's Twitter feed omitted the vulgar language, however, warning that the Russian bear would "beat up" the hunters.

Rogozin, who is famed for his outspoken remarks, is one of the few Russian officials to use Twitter, a micro-blogging service that has soared in popularity in recent years.

Moscow expressed concern last week at Bucharest's announcement that it had agreed to host the US interceptors, despite assurances from Romania and the United States that the system was not directed against Russia.

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