NATO Denies Putin's Charge That Rasmussen Taped Conversation

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BRUSSELS - NATO dismissed as "complete nonsense" on Thursday an allegation by Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his previous role as Danish prime minister, had secretly taped and leaked a private conversation between them.

"These accusations are complete nonsense. During his term in office as Danish prime minister, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen never brought a dictaphone to record meetings with Mr. Putin or anybody else," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in response to a query from Reuters.

"In general, to divert attention away from its own illegal and illegitimate actions in Ukraine, Russia has leveled a series of accusations against NATO which distort the facts," she said.