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Putin Dismisses Intelligence About Russian Interference in Election as 'Assumptions'

03 Juin 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is fully convinced that a deadly chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province was a "provocation" against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

That admission was a reversal of Putin's prior position, that of complete denial of a Russian connection to the hacking that some Democrats blame for the loss of the election.

"Hackers can be anywhere", he said. It reminds me of anti-Semitism, when everything is Jews' fault.

Mr Putin told PTI that there was no other country in the world with which Russian Federation has such "deep cooperation" in delicate areas, including missile technology, and that it benefits from cooperation with India. "Someone needs to give you a pill or something!"

The West has slapped economic sanctions on Moscow, while Russian Federation has responded with its own punitive measures.

Megyn Kelly was pressing Putin to explain why he earlier said that perhaps "patriotic" hackers in Russian Federation committed the cyber-attack.

Megyn Kelly's interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET during the premiere of "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" on NBC.

Putin pointed to the third successive quarter of growth in the economy and said that the level of foreign investment had climbed to a three-year high despite ties with the West hitting their lowest ebb since the Cold War ended. Having wondered what is the goal of the alliance if both the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact are no more, the president said that the failed dialogue with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is not Russia's fault.

The Russian leader suggested the alliance's continued existence could be explained because it was merely an "instrument of US foreign policy". "But so far we don't see it coming". The Russian authorities have not commented on those remarks. "In Germany, I had mentioned that whether there is Paris Accord or no Paris Accord, we are convinced that we must not steal something that rightfully belongs to the next generation".

Mr Tusk heralded co-operation between China and Europe, adding that the fight against climate change will continue "with or without the United States".

Putin argued that Assad was not responsible for last month's chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens of civilians, claiming the massacre was "orchestrated" by the Assad's opponents.

"It was true information, was it so important who leaked it?" he said.

"We are absolutely convinced that it was a provocation". Assad did not use that weapon.

Putin's sky-high domestic popularity is built on his self-styled image as a man who can restore Russian Federation to its former glory.

Putin Dismisses Intelligence About Russian Interference in Election as 'Assumptions'