Latest Vladimir Putin news

Ukraine PM: 'Putin Has Soviet Union Dream'

Ukraine PM: 'Putin Has Soviet Union Dream'

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has said he is concerned as to how far Russian President Vladimir Putin will go in …

  • Russia says reinforced troops on Ukraine border as precaution Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    The extra Russian military forces near the border with Ukraine have been deployed there in response to instability in Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesman said, in a departure from the previous explanation that they were on routine exercises. Some of these forces are based there permanently, others are there to reinforce, against the backdrop of what is happening in Ukraine itself," Dmitry Peskov, spokesman to Russian President Vladimir Putin said on the Rossiya 1 television station. "Forgive me but, it (Ukraine) is a country where there has just been a military coup, so naturally any country is going to take particular precautionary measures in terms of ensuring its security." He said as a sovereign state, Russia was free to deploy troops anywhere on its territory without restrictions. He denied allegations that the Russian military was interfering in events inside Ukraine territory. More »

  • Russia's PM says government has funds to honour social spending pledges
    Russia's PM says government has funds to honour social spending pledges Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    Russia's government has enough resources honour all its social spending pledges although this will not be easy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as telling the country's president on Saturday as tensions over Crimea add to Moscow's economic ills. On returning to office in 2012, President Vladimir Putin promulgated 'May decrees' that included promises to double pay for teachers and doctors by the end of his six-year term. Analysts from Moscow's Higher School of Economics have said the additional social spending would require 700 billion roubles $20 billion (11.89 billion pounds), or between 1.2 and 1.3 percent a year of the $2.1 trillion-strong Russian economy. But the economy faces new strains, including those arising from international friction and extra budget spending associated with the annexation of Crimea last month. More »

  • Putin: no blocks to boosting relations with West Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he sees no obstacles to improving relations with the West, which are fraught with tension over the Ukraine crisis. More »

  • Nothing should impede normalisation of Russia-West relations: Putin
    Nothing should impede normalisation of Russia-West relations: Putin Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said nothing should impede the normalisation of relations between Russia and the West, after ties hit a post-Cold War low due to the standoff over Ukraine. More »

  • Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    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 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. More »

  • Ex Ukraine PM Urges EU To Step Up Sanctions
    Ex Ukraine PM Urges EU To Step Up Sanctions Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    The former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged EU leaders to impose more sanctions if Russia disregards agreements signed in Geneva. Even though the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the militias to leave public buildings they had seized in eastern Ukraine, there is no sign of the pro-Russian groups agreeing to do so. A senior Russian banking official has told Sky News that if the West imposes more economic sanctions it would be humiliating and embarrassing - but only for those are behind the decision, not Russia. After the annexation of Crimea, the US and EU announced a limited series of measures targeting individuals and institutions with close links to President Vladimir Putin. More »

  • Russia says U.S. treating it like 'guilty schoolboy' over Ukraine Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    The Kremlin on Friday described as unacceptable a U.S. threat to impose sanctions if Russia fails to fulfil its side of an international deal on Ukraine, accusing the White House of treating Moscow like a "guilty schoolboy". President Barack Obama said Thursday's deal in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers to reduce tensions in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "Statements like those made at a high level in Washington that the United States will follow in detail how Russia fulfils its obligations ... are unlikely to help dialogue," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said. More »

  • Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions
    Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    By Alexei Anishchuk NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions imposed on the country after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Shell plans to expand Russia's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom, he said at a meeting at Putin's residence. More »

  • Shell head tells Putin wants to expand Russia operations
    Shell head tells Putin wants to expand Russia operations Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Vladimir Putin (left) welcomes Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden to the president's Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on April 18, 2014 More »

  • How History Is Influencing Putin's Ambitions
    How History Is Influencing Putin's Ambitions Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Vladimir Putin has said Russia annexed Crimea because of Nato's expansion into eastern Europe. More »

  • Snowden Questions Putin During TV Phone-In
    Snowden Questions Putin During TV Phone-In Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on government surveillance during a televised phone-in show. It is the first known direct contact between the pair since Russia granted the former US spy agency contractor asylum last year. He asked: "Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" He then answered Snowden’s question, saying Russia regulates communications as part of criminal investigations, but "on a massive scale, on an uncontrolled scale we certainly do not allow this and I hope we will never allow it". More »

  • US senators support Moldova in EU bid
    US senators support Moldova in EU bid Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Four U.S. senators visited Moldova Thursday to lend support to the former Soviet republic's move toward the European Union, while Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine to end a blockade of the country's separatist province Trans-Dniester. More »

  • Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence
    Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Arshad Mohammed and Alexei Anishchuk GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called after crisis talks on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia and western powers was promising but that the United States and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow, accused Ukraine's leaders of committing a "grave crime" by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending in Russian troops. More »

  • Putin says annexation of Crimea partly a response to NATO enlargement Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Russia had been forced to respond to NATO enlargement and that its annexation of Crimea, home to its Black Sea Fleet, was partly influenced by the Western military alliance's expansion into eastern Europe. Putin said Moscow will respond if the United States moves ahead with plans to base elements of a missile defence shield in eastern Europe, accusing Washington of fuelling a Cold War-style arms race. More »

  • Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in
    Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) - Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, made a surprise appearance on a TV phone-in hosted by Vladimir Putin on Thursday, asking the Russian president if his country also tapped the communications of millions. The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia gave the American refuge last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and internet data by the United States and fled the country. Snowden was not in the studio with Putin, who angered U.S. President Barack Obama by refusing to send the American home to face espionage charges. Snowden, 30, wearing a jacket and open-collar shirt and speaking before a dark background, asked Putin: "Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" "And do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify placing societies, rather than subjects, under surveillance?" he asked. More »

  • Russian state media claim AP skews Putin coverage
    Russian state media claim AP skews Putin coverage Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Kremlin-controlled television channels criticized The Associated Press' international television service for cutting into its live feed of President Vladimir Putin's nearly four-hour call-in show to send footage from other developing news stories, including the attempted raid on a Ukrainian national guard base. More »

  • Ukraine says Putin destabilising country, wants to wreck election Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's prime minister on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of building a terrorist network in Ukraine to destabilise it and wreck its presidential election next month. Arseny Yatseniuk launched the broadside after Putin accused the Kiev government in his annual televised phone-in of dragging Ukraine into the "abyss" and said Moscow might not recognise next month's Ukrainian election. More »

  • Putin's choice of words shed light on Ukraine
    Putin's choice of words shed light on Ukraine Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — To understand Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in Ukraine, it helps to pay close attention to his choice of words and his reading of history. Here is what Putin had to say Thursday in a nationally televised call-in program: More »

  • Armed men put Putin on the air in eastern Ukraine Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Thomas Grove ANDRIYIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) - Armed men took over a television tower in eastern Ukraine on Thursday and switched it to Russian channels playing an almost non-stop stream of sound-bites from a marathon TV phone-in by Russian President Vladimir Putin. TV engineers accompanying the men then took Ukrainian channels off the air and replaced them with five Russian channels. The channels included Russia 1, Russia 24 and ORT - some of the most popular state-controlled channels - which were broadcasting clips of Putin's TV phone-in. More »

  • Putin, Erdogan discuss Ukraine crisis, Crimean Tatars and energy Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday discussed the turmoil in Ukraine and the situation in Crimea including issues involving the Muslim, Turkic-speaking Tatar minority, the Kremlin said. In a telephone call initiated by the Turkish side, Putin and Erdogan also discussed bilateral ties between the two Black Sea nations, including in the energy sector. Crimean Tatars largely opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last month. (Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Robin Pomeroy) More »

  • EU Agrees to Gas Crisis Talks with Russia and Ukraine
    EU Agrees to Gas Crisis Talks with Russia and Ukraine Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    The European Union has agreed to hold talks with Moscow as the bloc attempts to avert a gas crisis threatening Russian supplies to the continent. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso responded to a letter sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin agreeing to Moscow's proposal for three-way talks with Ukraine. "The European Union agrees to your proposal for consultations with the Russian Federation and Ukraine with regard to security of gas supply and transit," Barroso responded. Moscow and Kiev are locked in a stand-off over the price that Ukraine's interim government pays for gas and outstanding bills amounting to $2.2bn. More »

  • U.S. to send Ukraine's military medical supplies, helmets Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Phil Stewart and Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it would send Ukraine's armed forces medical supplies, sleeping mats and other non-lethal aid, seeking to signal support for Kiev while stopping far short of adding any U.S. weaponry to a deepening standoff with Russia. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement at the Pentagon as Kiev grapples with a pro-Russia uprising that has seen fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier. Hagel voiced deep concern over "Russia's ongoing destabilizing activities in eastern Ukraine." "De-escalation has been our focus and Russia must take steps to make that happen," he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia had a right to intervene in neighbouring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, accused the authorities in Kiev on Thursday of plunging the country into an "abyss." Hagel said he spoke on Thursday with his Ukrainian counterpart to inform him of additional non-lethal military assistance, including helmets and water purification units for Ukraine's armed forces. More »

  • Pickles slams 'Town Hall Pravdas'
    Pickles slams 'Town Hall Pravdas' Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Conservative Cabinet member Eric Pickles has attacked five London councils for behaving like Russian president Vladimir Putin over their alleged attempts to drive local newspapers "out of business". More »

  • Putin talks tough on Ukraine but says he hopes for peace Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Alissa de Carbonnel and Alexei Anishchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine's leaders on Thursday of committing a "grave crime" by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending in Russian troops. But, addressing Russians in his annual televised phone-in, Putin said he hoped he would not need to take such a step, and that diplomacy could succeed in resolving the standoff, the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War. The former KGB spy's rhetoric on the United States was, as is customary for him, firm and uncompromising, but he also gave clear signals that he did not want to get into a spiralling war of words with Washington. He said Russia has no interest in reviving Cold War-era divisions, even if it felt threatened by NATO's eastward expansion and was angered by U.S. interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria that had gone ahead over the Kremlin's objections. More »

  • Ukraine local boss puts price on head of Russian 'saboteurs' Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Pavel Polityuk and Alastair Macdonald KIEV (Reuters) - A billionaire regional governor in eastern Ukraine put a $10,000 bounty on the head of any Russian "saboteur" on Thursday and pledged a reward for the Ukrainian troops who shot protesters at their base overnight. Aides to banking and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who was appointed last month by the new government in Kiev to run the industrial region of Dnipropetrovsk, also offered payments for weapons handed in to the local authorities and a reward of $200,000 for anyone who "liberated" an occupied public building. It was the latest in a cascade of piecemeal initiatives from Ukrainian leaders since pro-Russian militants - backed, Kiev says, by special forces sent by Moscow - seized facilities in the nearby regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. It also highlighted the role of wealthy business "oligarchs" in Ukraine's politics - and in its relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. More »

  • Ukraine Crisis: Putin Says 'Impossible' for Europe to Stop Buying Russian …
    Ukraine Crisis: Putin Says 'Impossible' for Europe to Stop Buying Russian … Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Russian president Vladimir Putin says it will be impossible for Europe to stop buying Russian gas, in a televised interview on Thursday. Putin also said that transit through Ukraine is the riskiest part of Europe's gas network and reiterated his desire that a deal can be reached with Kiev over its gas supplies. The European Union relies on Russia for around a third of its gas needs, while 40% of that gas is transferred via pipelines through Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis has led to renewed calls from within the EU to wean itself off Russian gas. More »

  • Snowden questions Putin on surveillance policies
    Snowden questions Putin on surveillance policies Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Several hours into Vladimir Putin's televised call-in show, one of the TV anchors interrupted viewers' questions to air what she said was a "sensational video" for the Russian president: a message from Edward Snowden. More »

  • Putin hopes no need to send troops into Ukraine
    Putin hopes no need to send troops into Ukraine Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. More »

  • Russia's Sberbank threatens legal action against Ukraine Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, challenged Ukraine on Thursday to provide evidence of wrongdoing and hinted at legal action in response to a criminal investigation into whether the bank facilitated the financing of pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine's acting Attorney General Oleh Makhnitsky said on Wednesday that his office was investigating 14 banks on suspicion of helping finance separatists who have taken over buildings in eastern Ukraine. As part of this, it launched a criminal investigation into Sberbank, he said. Ukraine and Russia are at loggerheads over Moscow's annexation of the Crimea region, which has prompted Western governments to impose sanctions against individuals deemed close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. More »

  • Snowden questions Putin on surveillance in phone-in
    Snowden questions Putin on surveillance in phone-in Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on Thursday joined a phone-in with Russian President Vladimir Putin, quizzing him over the extent of Moscow's surveillance activities. More »

  • Ex-Russian Alaska 'too cold' to annex, Putin jokes
    Ex-Russian Alaska 'too cold' to annex, Putin jokes Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    In a patriotic fervour, Russians are asking President Vladimir Putin to bring back the US state of Alaska, sold off to the United States in Tsarist times. Putin's answer? It's too cold. More »

  • NATO denies Putin's allegation Rasmussen secretly taped conversation Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO dismissed as "complete nonsense" on Thursday an allegation by Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his previous role as Danish prime minister, had secretly taped and leaked a private conversation between them. "These accusations are complete nonsense. During his term in office as Danish prime minister, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen never brought a dictaphone to record meetings with Mr. Putin or anybody else," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in response to a query from Reuters. ... More »

  • EU agrees to Putin's call for gas security talks Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union told Russian President Vladimir Putin it is willing to hold talks with Moscow and Kiev on gas security as the bloc scrambles to defuse a deep political crisis over Russia's annexation of Crimea. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, replying to a letter Putin sent last week to 18 EU countries, accepted Putin's proposal for three-way talks. "The European Union agrees on your proposal for consultations with the Russian Federation and Ukraine with regard to security of gas supply and transit," Barroso said in his reply, released by the European Commission on Thursday. More »

  • 3 protesters killed in attack on Ukrainian base
    3 protesters killed in attack on Ukrainian base Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The turmoil in Ukraine dominated the European landscape Thursday, as three protesters were killed in a clash in southern Ukraine, high-level talks were held in Geneva and Vladimir Putin weighed in on his neighbor's future for hours from Moscow. More »

  • Ukraine PM says Putin trying to wreck election Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's prime minister on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to sabotage the country's upcoming presidential election and said Moscow was responsible for deaths in recent clashes in eastern Ukraine. "Russia is playing only one game: further aggravation, further provocation, because the task, that Putin today officially announced, is to wreck the presidential election on May 25," Arseny Yatseniuk told journalists in Kiev. ... More »