Russia’s Vladimir Putin sworn in as president for a fifth term

President Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a new six-year term on May 7 at a Kremlin ceremony that has been banned by the United States and many other Western nations, at which he stated he was formally open to nuclear conversations with the West.

Mr Putin, having the opportunity to be serving as president or prime minister since 1999, starts his fresh mandate more than two years after he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, where Russian forces have regained the initiative after a series of reversals and are seeking to advance further in the east.

At 71, Mr Putin dominates the domestic political landscape. On the international stage, he is locked in a confrontation with Western nations  he accuses of using Ukraine as a vehicle to try to defeat and dismember Russia.

Mr Putin told Russia’s political elite after being sworn in that he was not shutting down dialogue with the West, but that it would have to make its own choice about how to engage with his nation.He said conversations on strategic nuclear stability with the West were also possible, but only on equal terms.

“We are a united and great people and together we will overcome all problems coming in the way, we will bring to life everything we have planned. Together we will be victorious,” Mr Putin said.