(CNSNews.com) - An Ohio lawmaker suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been drinking too much vodka and maybe smoking a little dope, after Putin, in a speech to the United Nations, argued against U.S. plans for a missile defense shield.
During a speech on the House floor Thursday, Rep. James Traficant - an Ohio Democrat known for his colorful oratory - took exception to Putin's claim that America doesn't need a missile defense.
"Think about it," said Traficant. "The Russkie wants it both ways. He builds missiles with billions of dollars of foreign aid from Uncle Sam -- takes our money, builds the missiles. If that's not enough to bust your rubles, he then sells these missiles to our enemies who then point them at us.
"I say here on the House floor that this guy Putin is not only drinking too much vodka, he's smoking dope. I say it's time to protect America from Russian politicians who should be addressing Alcoholics Anonymous and not the United Nations."
Putin, while not directly mentioning the United States in his speech, called plans for the militarization of outer space "particularly alarming."
"The beginning of a new millennium must go down in history as a period of real disarmament," Putin said.
Noting that next April 12th will mark the 40th anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight, Putin said that date would be an opportune time for the United Nations to convene a conference against the militarization of outer space. He offered to host that conference in Moscow.
After Putin's speech, President Clinton did not indicate to reporters whether he would accept or reject the idea of a space conference. In any case, Clinton will no longer be president come April 12, 2000.
Clinton told reporters, "The decision I made last week on our missile defense will create an opportunity for President Putin and the next American president to reach a common position. And I hope they can, because I think it's very important for the future that we continue to work together."