Putin: Nothing prevents normalization between Russia, NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes there are no reasons preventing the normalization of relations between Russia and the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes there are no reasons preventing the normalization of relations between Russia and the West.

"You know, this depends not on us. Or not only on us. This depends on our partners. I believe there is nothing that could prevent normalization and normal cooperation," Putin said in an analytical TV program on Saturday.

Asked about his opinion about future NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and whether Putin could recall anything about contacts with him like what he mentioned recently about current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Putin replied, "No, no, no, we have very warn relations. Including personal relations. This is a very serious and responsible man. Well, let's see how our relations develop in his new capacity."

Putin claimed at his recent Q&A session that Rasmussen had secretly recorded negotiations between the two in 2000, when he was Danish prime minister, and then leaked the record to the media without Putin's permission.

The North Atlantic Council decided in late March to appoint Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, as NATO secretary general and chairman of the North Atlantic Council in succession to Rasmussen. Stoltenberg will start performing his duties on October 1, 2014, when Rasmussen's term in office expires.

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