Vladimir Putin (Leningrad (St Petersburg, 1952) is the current President of the Russian Federation. Director of the Secret Services from 1998 to 1999, he was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012, as an interlude between his presidential terms (2000-2008 and from 2012 onwards). Considered the most influential leader of Russia's post-Cold War era, Putin has revitalised the Russian economy after it defaulted in 1998 and has contributed to re enforcing the position of Moscow in a global context. He has needed navigate through increased hostility between Russia and western powers due to conflicts regarding numerous global issues (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria etc.) and has aided in the political rapprochement with China, accelerated after the implementation of western sanctions imposed in 2014.