The Kremlin mocked President Barack Obama in a tweet on Thursday, showing an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin with a young leopard in his lap juxtaposed with a picture of Obama holding a fluffy white Bichon Frisé.
"We have different values and allies,” reads the tweet from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
Putin posed with the Persian leopard ahead of the Winter Olympics earlier this year.
The European Union and U.S. are coordinating to put a sanction squeeze on Russia in the wake of the MH17 crash in Ukraine. However, Putin appears to be unfazed.
Kurt Volker, executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former U.S ambassador to NATO, says Putin doesn’t care about being popular in the West.
"I think Putin is about power and money and influence, both for himself and his KGB cronies that run Russia whether through the Kremlin or the state-owned businesses," Volker said, according to CBC News.
"He is looking at ways to enhance that power and sense of greatness,” Volker told CBC. “He declared when he became president the first time that he wanted to restore Russian greatness ...and he's been going about doing that."
Europe depends on Russia for natural gas and Putin feels it will eventually fold.
"He believes he can ride this out,” Volker said. “He can see the sanctions and not believe that the West has staying power. As soon as he starts to ratchet down and says he's looking for a deal now, he's fairly confident Europe will be right there with him and even the U.S.”
У нас разные ценности и союзники pic.twitter.com/WCH98Zxutu
— Dmitry Rogozin (@Rogozin) July 31, 2014