Tim Ecott is joined by:

Alexander Nekrassov - a former advisor to the Kremlin, who now runs the controversial blog Stirring Trouble Internationally

Hugo Rifkind - the leader writer and columnist for the Times of London

Catherine Mayer – editor-at-large in Europe for Time magazine

Forbes Magazine chooses one person for every 100 million people on Earth, so the list is 72 names long. The latest Forbes power list has ruffled some feathers in its home territory by demoting President Barack Obama to second place and boosting President Putin to first place.

TE: Alexander Nekrassov – what do you make of that?

AN: “Well, I think Mr. Putin is the right person to be at number one. Because we should remember that he is the person who has helped to basically save the world…because if we’d had the Americans, and the Brits (well, not the Brits because Parliament voted against it) and the French attacking Syria with all those chemical weapons there – I don’t know what would have happened. We would have had a regional war.”

TE: Catherine Mayer – what about the position of women on this list? Only Angela Merkel in the top ten, the other women are much lower down. It’s a thin showing isn’t it?

CM: “Yes, but that’s accurate…there’s always a lack of women on these lists and we at Time debate the reasons why women do so poorly. The lack of women on the list is a reflection of the fact that worldwide women are second class citizens. When you look at the reason women come to power – and this upsets feminists – because women often come to power through marriage or through inheritance or some way that does not bespeak the principles that we would like to espouse: that we are as good as our male counterparts.”

TE: Hugo Rifkind of the Times – are you disappointed that there are very few journalists on this list should there be more – they shape the way people think about the world?

HR: “I don’t approve of journalists either being regarded or regarding themselves as powerful.”

(Voice of Russia)