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.
Halbe Ziljstra has landed in hot water over his own account of controversial remarks allegedly made by the Russian president. The controversy comes ahead of his trip to Moscow, where he will meet with Sergey Lavrov.
The conference saw the Russian foreign minister being heckled and the Syrian opposition refusing to leave the airport. But the event ended with a plan to draft a new constitution as part of efforts to end the Syrian war.
The Trump administration says it will ignore a new sanctions law aimed at punishing Russia for alleged election meddling. The White House has, however, released a list of Russian elites with close ties to Vladimir Putin.