So, Vladimir Putin's rhetoric appears to have changed.
He referred to the United States as a partner.
He said Barack Obama was a decent man.
And he even said he would save Petro Poroshenko or Recep Tayyip Erdogan if they were drowning.
Gee, what a nice guy.
The words may have changed, but the deeds remain the same.
On the same day Putin was making these conciliatory noises last week, a Russian fighter jet barrel-rolled a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane in international airspace -- coming within 15 meters of the aircraft's wingtip.
And days earlier, Russian fighter jets conducted a simulated attack on a U.S. naval vessel in the Baltic Sea -- flying 25 meters away from the ship at such a low altitude that they created a "wake in the water."
On the day Putin was appealing to the West to work with Russia and treat it as an equal, the Ukrainian military reported no less than 80 attacks by Moscow-backed separatists.
And days earlier, pro-Moscow separatists in Georgia's South Ossetia region announced they will hold a referendum on joining Russia this summer.
It's always a good idea to pay more attention to what Moscow is doing than to what Vladimir Putin is saying.
And while Putin may have dialed down his inflammatory rhetoric, we shouldn't get too excited.
Russia's actions toward the West remain just as hostile, and its behavior toward its neighbors remains just as menacing.
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