Putin on Clinton: Don't argue with women

Russian President Vladimir Putin said "it is better not to argue with women" when referring to Hillary Clinton. 

In an interview released Wednesday, Putin said Clinton has never been "too graceful" with her words, when asked about past comments where the former first lady and secretary of State compared Russia's tactics in Ukraine to those of the Nazi's in World War II. 

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"When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak," he said. "But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman."

The United States has continuously described Russia's recent invasion in Ukraine as a result of a weakened position. 

Putin described Clinton's "extreme statements" as a cover for the lack of a valid argument, but said the two leaders had cordial conversations while she led the State Department.

"It’s better not to argue with women,” he said. “But Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements. Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events.”

In March, Clinton said she wanted to bring "a little historical perspective" to Russia’s claim that it entered the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine in order to protect ethnic Russians.

"That is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s, when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland and Czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout Europe,” she said at the time. 

The former secretary has continuously blasted Putin for Russia's actions in Ukraine, calling the leader a "tough guy with thin skin."

During the interview, Putin said he is "always willing" to talk with President Obama. 

“But ultimately, it is his choice,” Putin said. “I am always ready for dialogue, and I think that dialogue is the best way to bridge any gaps.”

Obama, Putin and other world leaders are set to gather in France later this week for the anniversary of D-Day. 

Obama, unlike a number of other European leaders, is not slated to meet with Putin. But the two will be at many of the same events and a lunch on Friday. 

"So there will certainly be the opportunity for leaders to interact in that context," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Wednesday.