Putin sends message to West as he is sworn in for fifth term as Russian president

Vladimir Putin sent a message to the West during his inauguration ceremony on Tuesday 7 May.

He began his fifth term as Russia’s president at a glittering ceremony inside the gilded Grand Kremlin Palace and placed his hand on the Russian constitution, vowing to defend it as a crowd of hand-picked dignitaries looked on.

“We do not refuse dialogue with Western countries. The choice is theirs,” Mr Putin stated.

Already in office for nearly a quarter-century and the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin, his new term doesn’t expire until 2030, when he will be constitutionally eligible to run again.