Putin Welcomes New NATO Head

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Jens Stoltenberg

 

 Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed NATO's selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as its new head, saying on Saturday the pair had "very good relations" but that it was up to the West to improve ties.

Relations between Russia and the NATO military alliance are at their worst since the Cold War following Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, a move Putin said on Thursday was partly influenced by NATO's expansion into eastern Europe.

In an interview with the state-run Rossiya television station, to be broadcast later on Saturday, Putin indicated that the appointment of Stoltenberg, who takes over in October, could help ties.

"We have very good relations, including personal relations. This is a very serious, responsible person," Putin said, according to a pre-transmission transcript provided to news organisations.

"But let's see how he will develop relations in his new capacity," he said in the interview, for the Russian news show Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilyov.

In a sign of his strained ties with current NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Putin repeated an accusation that the former Danish prime minister had secretly taped and leaked a private conversation between them, a charge Rasmussen has denied.

Putin said there was no reason why relations between Russia and the West can not improve, but that it was up to the West to make that happen.

"I think there is nothing that would hinder a normalisation and normal cooperation" with the West, Putin said.

"This does not depend on us. Or rather not only on us. This depends on our partners."

Putin did not name any specific measures that the West should take. But his spokesman on Friday indicated that a lack of respect from the West was a major factor, saying it was treating Russia like a "guilty schoolboy".

In a sign of the difficulty of reaching a compromise on the position of Crimea, which the West considers part of Ukraine, Putin said he would award medals to Russians who served during its seizure.

"Of course there will be state decorations," he said.

He also rejected criticism of Crimea's referendum on independence, which took place under Russian occupation, saying that 83 percent of the peninsula's voters went to the polls, something it would have been "impossible" to stage.

He dismissed comparisons made by Western analysts between Russia's "anti-terror" operations in Chechnya in the 1990s and actions being taken by the Ukrainian government against pro-Russian separatists.

"These were properly formed, well prepared groups who were supplied and armed from aboard. This is a big difference," Putin said. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Anthony Barker)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

Med Crude-Russian Urals Edges Lower in Med, Baltic

Russian Urals crude weakened in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic on Friday, while trading activity was limited ahead of a long holiday weekend in Britain, traders said.

Oil Plunge Deepens High-yield Gloom

US crude fell to a more than six-year low this week, clouding the picture for a high-yield energy sector that already faces a significant cull when credit lines are reevaluated in autumn.

Tropical Storm Erika Heads for Florida

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rain and fierce winds on Friday, moving across the Caribbean and apparently heading for the Dominican Republic,

News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Panama Canal Suspends Draft Restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has lifted scheduled vessel draft restrictions brought on by lingering draught conditions in the region.   The ACP had previously set restrictions of 11.

Med Crude-Russian Urals Edges Lower in Med, Baltic

Russian Urals crude weakened in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic on Friday, while trading activity was limited ahead of a long holiday weekend in Britain, traders said.

People in the News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1653 sec (6 req/sec)