Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, enjoys a Krispy Kreme doughnut and coffee with Senator Charles Schumer from New York as Putin visits the first New York gas station of the Russian company Lukoil.
Bright red Lukoil flags fluttered and US and Russian security men in dark suits held photographers and reporters at bay as Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, greeted Putin at the curb of the full-service station, then accompanied him inside where bills are paid and beverages and snacks are sold.
“When I showed the president of Russia a Krispy Kreme doughnut and he ate it and said it was good, that was one of the more surreal moments I’ve had in politics,” Schumer reported.
After Putin’s motorcade roared off, Schumer, noting that Russia is not a member of OPEC and so Lukoil is not bound by its price-boosting output limits, said: “The more competition there is in oil, particularly against OPEC, the better New York will do and the better America will do.”
He said New Yorkers should not expect immediate reductions in their gas prices but said: “I hope OPEC is hurt by this so they don’t have the stranglehold any more.”
Only a few pedestrians stopped to check out the scene from across the street — one laughed and shouted “Who cares?” when told the Russian president was coming — and a couple of vehicles tried to pull into the station for refueling, scores of security vans and police cars notwithstanding.