Vladimir Putin says that current NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded and leaked a private conversation with him, when he was the head of the Danish government.
“During his time as Prime Minister he once requested an unscheduled meeting with me, and we met and talked. As it turned out, he had a voice recorder on him, and surreptitiously recorded our conversation, and leaked it to the press,” the Russian president recounted during his annual TV hotline.
“I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes – what nonsense!”
The Russian president didn’t specify when the meeting took place, but Rasmussen was his country’s Prime Minister between 2001 and 2009.
“He explained to me that he recorded the conversation for posterity. I am flattered, of course, but he should have warned me, or at least asked permission to make the content public,” continued Putin.
“How can you trust someone after an incident like that?”
Putin spoke about the leak when questioned on the relationship between Russia and NATO, frayed after a succession of contretemps, climaxing with the crisis in Ukraine.
“From interpersonal to official relations, there should be more transparency, stability, and partnership,” summed up the Russian leader.
Rasmussen’s current office in Brussels, which he has occupied for the past five years, produced a swift response.
NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu told RT in an emailed comment that “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.”