Hillary Clinton pushes the wrong button

Russian media poked fun at United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday after she gave her Russian counterpart a “reset” button with an ironic misspelling.

Clinton’s gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at their meeting in Geneva on Friday evening was meant to underscore the Obama administration’s readiness to “to press the reset button” in ties with Moscow.

But instead of the Russian word for “reset” (perezagruzka) it featured a slightly different word meaning “overload” or “overcharged” (peregruzka).

Daily newspaper Kommersant put a prominent picture of the fake red button on its front page and declared: “Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton pushed the wrong button.”

A correspondent for NTV television called it a “symbolic mistake”, pointing out that US-Russian ties had become overcharged in recent years due to discord over such issues as missile defence and last summer’s war in Georgia.

“The friendly US gesture was upturned by a small amusing incident,” the news website RBC.ru wrote in an article posted late on Friday evening.

“Yet this curious episode did not stop Clinton and Lavrov from pushing the button in front of television cameras.”

US Vice-President Joe Biden spoke of pressing the “reset button” on relations between Moscow and Washington during a speech in Germany last month. It has since been repeated in various forms by both US and Russian officials. — AFP

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