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Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes NATO's selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. In an interview with state-run TV, Putin indicated that the appointment of Stoltenberg, who takes over in October, could help ties. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We have very good relations, including personal relations. This is a very serious, responsible person. But let's see how he will develop relations in his new capacity." Putin says there's no reason why relations between Russia and the West can not improve. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "This does not depend on us. Or rather not only on us. This depends on our partners. I think there is nothing that would hinder a normalization and normal cooperation." Putin also rejects criticism of Crimea's referendum. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "I know it and I talked about

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