09:39 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with representatives of international news agencies in St. Petersburg, Russia

    Putin: US Citizens Misled by Information on Alleged Russian Meddling in Election

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    Vladimir Putin said that those insisting on the reliability of information about alleged Russian interference in the US elections have been misled, there is no direct evidence of such intervention.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Those insisting on the reliability of information about alleged Russian interference in the US elections have been misled, there is no direct evidence of such intervention, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "They have been misled and they are not analysing the information in its entirety. I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia's interference in the presidential election in the USA,"  Putin said in an interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly.

    "I don't want to offend anyone, but the United States, everywhere, all over the world, is actively interfering in electoral campaigns in other countries," Putin added.

    The president noted that should you "point your finger to any spot on the world's map, everywhere you'll hear complaints that American officials interfere in their political domestic processes."

    "Therefore, if someone, and I am not saying that it’s us (we did not interfere), if anybody does influence in some way or attempts to influence or somehow participates in these processes, then the United States has nothing to be offended by. Who is talking? Who is taking offense that we are interfering? You yourselves interfere all the time." Putin said.

    He stressed that "it does not sound like justification. It sounds like a statement of fact."

    "Each action invites appropriate counteraction, but, again, we don't need to do that because I did not tell you this without a reason, both you personally and other members of the media, recently I was in France and I said the same things. Presidents come and go, and even parties come to and away from power. But the main policy track does not change. So by and large we don't care who will be at the helm in the United States. We have a rough idea of what is going to happen. And in this regard, even if we wanted to it wouldn't make any sense for us to interfere," Putin said.

    Concerns over Russia's potential interference into foreign states' elections have recently been raised in several countries. The issue traces back to the recent US presidential campaign, when Washington repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in the election and alleged hacking attempts.

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied charges of interfering in the US elections, saying the allegations are absurd and represent an attempt to divert the US public’s attention from revealed instances of corruption as well as other pressing domestic issues.


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