Putin praises Trump, says US spies may have faked hacking evidence

President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that some "patriotic" individuals may have engaged in hacking but insisted Russian Federation as a country has never done it, and he pledged Thursday to wait out US political battles to forge constructive ties with President Donald Trump.

Putin, addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, said on Friday that the hacking accusations were nothing more than "harmful gossip" which he complained was damaging international relations and the global economy.

This is the first time since allegations of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign emerged that Putin has conceded that any sort of hacking attacks may have taken place to influence the U.S. election.

During the panel talk on Friday, the Russian leader again denied that Russia encroached on the 2016 presidential election, telling Kelly that even her "underage daughter" could have been behind the hacking.

Prompting another roar of nervous laughter from the crowd and facial histrionics from Putin, she asked if Modi could trust Putin, given his claims about the US election.

"We will strive to build an "energy bridge" between our states and expand bilateral relations in all areas of energy cooperation, including nuclear, hydrocarbon, hydel and renewable energy sources and in improving energy efficiency", the document titled "A vision for the 21st Century" said. "Quite the opposite, we are trying to combat it inside our country", he added.

Putin said that economic restrictions against Russian Federation have had "zero effect", predicting that the current strain in relations will ease, because "it's counterproductive and harmful for all".

During the three days of sessions and roundtables, the participants will focus on global economic dynamics, Russia's economic roadmap, new technologies, human resources as a key element of economic and social growth, and on future development.

"I don't agree that we are unilaterally starting to militarize these islands", said Putin.

Allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the USA presidential election in 2016 have further strained the relationship.

He said Russian Federation had been encouraged by Trump's campaign promises to improve Russia-U.S. ties and emphasized that Moscow still hopes to forge a constructive dialogue.

Putin predicted "this will end, sooner or later", adding that "we are patient, we know how to wait and we will wait".

"I am committed to substantially strengthening and advancing our multi-faceted partnership with France", Modi had said. At that time, the government said it was "confident" Moscow designed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations of the Democratic Party in the months before the election, reports said. "And part of that influence campaign were hackers".

Putin also said that India was facing a serious problem on account of terrorism and it was not an "imaginary thing". "Was it so important who leaked it?" he said.

"It's an attempt to solve internal political problems using foreign policy instruments", he said.

Putin also said that Trump's promise to negotiate new conditions for the USA leaves hope for reaching a compromise before the Paris deal takes effect, adding that US participation is essential for the success of global efforts.

For Putin, leader of the world's biggest crude oil producer and fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, there was plenty to cheer in Trump's rejection of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by 195 countries.

  • Leroy Wright