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    Russian President Vladimir Putin at The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue forum in Arkhangelsk

    Putin Calls Attempts to Break Russian-US Diplomatic Relations a Mistake

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a direct denial on Thursday of allegations that his country influenced the 2016 US presidential elections.

    "Read the lips: no," Putin said at an Arctic forum when asked whether Russia meddled in the campaign, evoking a past US presidential candidate who responded similarly in the debate over taxes.

    Speaking about the reports of Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak's meetings in the United States as acts of espionage, Vladimir Putin said it's nonsense.

    "Our ambassador's contacts in the United States are limited. Any meeting is perceived as an act of espionage. Is that not nonsense? What do we need an ambassador for?" Putin said at the Arctic forum.

    He contrasted the restrictions placed on Kislyak to the treatment of US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft.

    "He came to our forum. He communicates with all participants, can communicate with members of the government, with representatives of major Russian companies. We do not impede this, but promote it on the contrary," Putin said.


    However, Russia believes the United States is a great power and Moscow intends to establish good partnership with Washington, Putin said.

    "We perceive and treat the United States as a great power, with which we want to establish very good partnership. The rest is lies and fiction," the Russian president said, speaking at the Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin called attempts to drive a wedge in Russian-US diplomatic relations a mistake.

    "I think that it is not in the interest of the American people to bring about absurd Russian-US relations. What do we want? To minimize our relations in general?" Vladimir Putin said.

    Noting that the Russian threat is used in the US "for its domestic political agenda," Putin stressed that "this anti-Russian card is being played in the interests of individual political forces within the US."

    US business continues to work in Russia and Moscow is always ready to "welcome," more companies from the United States to develop their business in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "We are ready to receive in Moscow the representatives from the Congress and the Senate and of course we are always glad to see our friends from business. We have a lot of friends in the United States among business, that work and are willing to continue working in Russia – welcome," Putin stated at the plenary session of "Arctic: Territory of Dialogue" international forum.


    interference, espionage, bilateral relations, diplomatic relations, 2016 US Presidential election, Vladimir Putin, United States, Russia
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