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Norwegian Intelligence Sees 'No Alternatives' to Putin

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
According to the head of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, Vladimir Putin, the second-longest serving European leader, may be under pressure under current circumstances, but has no real challengers.
By its own admission, Norway's Intelligence Service sees no alternative to Vladimir Putin in Russia at the moment.
The head of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, Nils Andreas Stensønes, ventured that Putin is under pressure amid the conflict in Ukraine, sanctions from the West and unrest among the oligarchs, but nevertheless has no challengers.

“We see no alternative to Putin in Russia. They have a very long tradition of strong leaders. To envision a different framework of governance – that would take a long time to mature in Russia,” Stensønes stated at the Security Conference organised by the National Security Authority, as quoted by the newspaper Bergens Tidende.

According to Stensønes, it is difficult to estimate whether Vladimir Putin has strengthened or weakened his position as a result of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, citing a diminished presence of Western media and less access to credible information.
Stensønes concluded that it is generally difficult to judge the stability of what he called a “closed regime”.
Vladimir Putin has been Russia's president since 2012, and was previously president from 2000 until 2008. He also served as the country's prime minister from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012. As of now, Putin is the second-longest currently-serving European leader after Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.
Russia and its allies from the newly recognised Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics began a military operation in Ukraine on the morning of 24 February. The operation followed nearly eight years of harrowing civil conflict in the Donbass and came in the aftermath of weeks of escalating tensions as Ukrainian forces conducted sabotage and sniper attacks as well as shelled Donbass forces.
Earlier in March, the Russian military released documents indicating that Kiev had planned to conduct a full-scale attack on the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
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