Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is serving a six year term as President of Russia since he was elected in 2012. He topped the 2013 Forbes list of most powerful people in the world.
Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008. He was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. For 16 years Putin served as an officer in the secret service, KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. . From 1985 to 1990, the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany, returning to Russia then and entering politics in his native Saint Petersburg in 1991.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with President Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital Moscow at the start of a two-day visit. The two leaders agreed to develop closer economic ties, although Greek hopes that Putin would lift an import ban on Greek produce were dashed. The visit is being closely watched by Brussels.
Russian president Vladimir Putin says Alexis Tsipras did not ask Moscow for any financial aid during their meeting. Putin said their discussion had focussed on economic cooperation, instead. Many European Union leaders were not happy about the visit.
The US military has sent a convoy of troops and vehicles through Central and Eastern Europe, in what was a logistical, training and propaganda exercise. It was dreamt up by the commander of US forces in Europe as a way of sending a message to Russia’s Vladimir Putin – our alliance is strong, was the subtext, and we too can move forces quickly through Europe. Rob Cameron reports from Prague.