Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday stated emphatically that he has never been on The Ritz and in fact is not and has never been associated with The Ritz.
"I do not know what Ritz is," said Putin, "I have not been on Ritz."
Putin's comments were seemingly in response to the Russian media's coverage of Radio Free Europe's broadcast of Dutch singer-songwriter Taco's version of the song "Puttin' On the Ritz" which was released in 1983. The song was written in 1929 by Irving Berlin and made famous in the 1930 musical "Puttin' On The Ritz."
Radio Free Europe played the song several times last week as part of their "Look Back" series, specifically "Look Back at '80s One Hit Wonders."
The confusion can be traced to a misprint of the song's lyrics by the Russian newspaper Illtellya. Rather than the correct "Puttin' on the Ritz", the paper instead printed "Putin on the Ritz." There is some speculation that the 'mistake' was intentional by pro-Ukranian Illtellya. The paper's editor could not be reached for comment, as he had gone out for lunch and never returned.
Putin reiterated "I have never heard of Ritz. I have not been on Ritz." Putin then added "The Ritz is historically part of great mother Russia. We do not take what is not ours. We take what was always ours. Our beloved The Ritz." Putin vowed that when Russia found The Ritz, it would be assimilated back into its rightful place as part of Russia.
Putin then donned a black top hat and tapped his way to his limousine.