Vladimir Putin has slammed a 'beautiful' and 'pretty' American news anchor for not listening to his argument about the gas war with Europe.
The Russian president accused CNBC's journalist Hadley Gamble of acting as if she 'didn't hear' what he said after she questioned his denial that Russia had withheld gas from Europe during an on-stage interview in Moscow.
During the exchange, Putin also hinted he could stand again for the presidency and stay in power until 2036.
Putin insisted his country has always kept the taps into Europe open, including during the Cold War, and dismissed any suggestion that he is throttling supplies as 'complete nonsense'.
He showed his irritation at Western claims that he has weaponised gas for geopolitical gains, and separately claimed European leaders were 'out of their minds' in the gas war.
During the interview at Russian Energy Week, Putin taunted Gamble, saying to the audience: 'Beautiful woman, pretty, I'm telling her one thing. She instantly tells me the opposite as if she didn't hear what I said. Well, I'll repeat it for you once again.'
At this point, Gamble interrupted and told the Russian president she had 'heard' him, but claimed the Russians took 'long enough' to address the gas supply issue.
Vladimir Putin slammed 'beautiful' and 'pretty' CNBC News anchor Hadley Gamble (right) for not listening to his argument about the gas war with Europe
The Russian president accused CNBC's journalist Hadley Gamble of acting as if she 'didn't hear' what he said after she questioned his denial that Russia had withheld gas from Europe during an on-stage interview in Moscow
CNBC news anchor Hadley Gamble
During the tense exchange, Putin said: 'Listen, you've just said "You don't supply gas to Europe through pipelines". You are being misled.
'We are increasing supplies to Europe. Gazprom by 10 per cent. Russia has increased supplies by 15 per cent. We are increasing, not decreasing supplies.'
The Russian media said Putin had used the reference to her looks to push back against Gamble, but added that calling her 'beautiful' was a 'compliment'.
Putin also claimed the US and other suppliers to Europe had reduced gas flows.
He said: 'If we are asked to increase more, we are ready to increase more. We are increasing [supplies] for as much as our partners ask for. There has been no single rejection.'
Putin also dismissed suggestions he is exploiting the energy crisis to get the Nord Steam 2 pipeline approved as 'politically motivated blather' - though added that opening the pipe will 'significantly decrease' gas prices.
One of Russia's main routes for pumping gas into Europe currently runs through Ukraine, which makes about $1billion per year in fees for maintaining the line.