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    Russian Companies' Foreign Contacts 'Taken to Absurd Level' by Mueller - Kremlin

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian businessmen actively contact their partners from all over the world, but nowhere have their business contacts been taken to such an absurd level as in the Mueller report, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

    "It's their work. The businessmen invest money, attract capital from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). They are interested in communication and looking for more new contacts. They communicate with relevant officials in the government, in the Economic Development Ministry, in the White House, and so on. The same thing occurs in all countries, but, fortunately, nowhere it is taken to such an absurd level as in the Muller report", Peskov said.

    READ MORE: 'Nothing Attracts Attention' in Released Mueller Report — Moscow

    The spokesman added that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin's normal practice to meet with prominent businessmen, including Alfa-Bank chief Petr Aven, who had also been mentioned in the Mueller report.

    "I don't know if I can say that [Putin] regularly met [with Aven]. There have been certain meetings… It is common practice that Putin meets with prominent businessmen who run socially and economically important businesses", Peskov said.

    He also noted that the report, issued by the Special Council "does not have any kind of substantiated evidence that Russia allegedly interfered in the US electoral process". According to Peskov, the document has "nothing new".

    On Thursday, the redacted version of the Mueller report indicated that a number of prominent Russian businessmen had contacted officials from the US President Donald Trump's campaign.

    The document stated there was no evidence of any collusion between Russia and Trump or his team during the 2016 US presidential elections, however, it did not exonerate Trump of obstruction charges and concluded that Russia did try to interfere in the US election on his behalf.

    Russian Proposals on Strategic Security Unanswered

    Peskov also regretted US unwillingness to cooperate on strategic security and the fact that Washington has not replied to Russia's numerous proposals on the issue.

    "The Americans do not want to cooperate. This is regretful because this is absolutely not in the interest of our two countries or the whole world… All of these Russian initiatives and proposals have been essentially left unanswered", the presidential spokesman said.

    The US refused to cooperate with Russia in February, suspending the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and jeopardising the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty's (New START) extension.

    The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the accusations, announcing that Moscow had also suspended its obligations under the treaty in response to the US move.

    The Situation on the Korean Peninsula

    The spokesman noted that Moscow and Washington are exchanging opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula but the process could not be described as close coordination.

    "There is some exchange of opinions. Of course, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is a subject to the exchange of opinions between the two countries but we cannot talks about close coordination", Peskov said answering the question whether Moscow and Washington were involved in close coordination on the Korean issue.

    READ MORE: North Korea Demands Pompeo's Removal From Nuclear Talks With US

    The statement comes after North Korean Foreign Ministry blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making "reckless remarks", adding that Pyongyang might request Washington to remove him from the talks.

    Previously, the much-anticipated second meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi ended abruptly earlier in the year without an agreement after the US refused to offer North Korea any economic sanctions relief. However, the US President noted that the third summit with Kim would be "a good idea."

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    Tags:
    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), sanctions, Dmitry Peskov, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, Russia
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