Because We Would All Need To Do Vodka Shots After Meeting With Putin

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

Bill Clinton’s first meeting with Vladimir Putin had an interesting coda:

After one of his first meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Bill Clinton drank vodka shots with his chief of staff, John Podesta.

“We saw Putin and then we had the evening free. We went to the Cafe Pushkin in Moscow, and as is habit in Moscow, we started drinking vodka shots. I’m not much of a drinker, but I had plenty to drink that night,” Podesta said in an interview with Runner’s World published on May 1, recounting his trip to Moscow with Clinton in 2000.

What happens in Moscow, stays in Moscow.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nahhhh, Scotch. Always Scotch.

  2. C. Clavin says:


  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Nearly every American general or diplomat who’s had occasion to attend an official Russian diplomatic function has reported something similar. Drinking toasts is an old Russian custom.

    However, caution should be observed since drinking toasts until you’re unconscious is also an old Russian custom.