Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the new Secretary General of NATO, former Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg, will undertake wiser politics than the current Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Danish PM.
Jens Stoltenberg will assume the office on October 1 in NATO headquarters. During the live broadcast with Vladimir Putin on April 17, people asked a lot of questions about the case, when Anders Rasmussen, while being Danish PM, secretly recorded and laid open to the public his talk with Putin.
After the live broadcast Vladimir Putin said that Russia would be trying to improve the relationships with NATO. But this will depend on NATO and its new Secretary General as well. There was no use in improving the relationships with Anders Fogh Rasmussen as he neglected morals and ethics.
Putin thinks that Jens Stoltenberg is “more serious” politicians and will also make efforts to improve the relationships with Russia.
“We have good personal relationships. Mr. Stoltenberg is a serious and responsible man. So, let’s look on how our relationships will improve, when he becomes Secretary General of NATO.”
Will the relationships between Russia and the West improve till the end of the year?
“This depends not only on Russia, but Russia’s partners as well. I think that there is nothing that can prevent us from improving Russia’s cooperation with the West.”
It’s natural that the relationships between NATO and Russia won’t depend on Jens Stoltenberg, as it didn’t depend on Anders Fogh Rasmussen. They depend on the US, which is the main investor of NATO.
The new Secretary General may change the atmosphere in NATO – remove heaps of falsehoods and misrepresentations concerning Russia, which are the main characteristics of Rasmussen’s work.
Till April 21, NATO press-service had denied the fact of secret recording made by Rasmussen. Oana Lungescu claimed that this was Russia’s attempt to “keep people’s attention from the Ukrainian crisis”.
The incident occurred in 2002 during the EU-Russia summit in Brussels. Rasmussen asked Vladimir Putin to hold a personal meeting, which wasn’t planned beforehand. Vladimir Putin says that Rasmussen’s action shocked him.
“He took a dictation machine with him on the meeting, recorded our dialogue and published it. I could hardly believe this. He himself said that he recorded the dialogue for the history. But, he should have let me know beforehand or asked my permission to publish it. How can I believe this man after this?”
It required a lot of efforts to make NATO and Rasmussen assistants admit the incident. At first, they claimed that they didn’t know about the tape. Then, they said that the tape was “harmless”. Danish journalist Christoffer Guldbrandsen, who shot a documentary film ‘Fogh bag facaden’ (‘Fogh backstage’), said that he himself attached a microphone to Rasmussen’s clothes. After that, Danish PM met Russia’s President. The talk was recorded and used in the documentary; in fact it was a PR-movie of Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Moreover, Rasmussen recorded the talks with French President Jacques René Chirac, British PM Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and some dozen politicians, who didn’t know about the recording.
There are specific rules of etiquette considering meetings of Presidents and Prime Ministers. Thus, Rasmussen’s action is considered a mean one. Moreover, even among ordinary people, such methods are used mostly by intriguers.
So, there is hope that under Jens Stoltenberg, Russia’s relationships with NATO will gradually improve.