03 June, 2017
Putin's clarification comes at a time when the intelligence agencies in the USA believe that Russian Federation used disinformation, data thefts, leaks, and social media trolls in an effort to give an advantage to Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 Presidential elections.
"What fingerprints? Hoof prints?"
"Snowden is not a traitor, he did not betray the interests of his country, nor did he transfer any information to any other country that would damage his own people, " Putin said.
He said "someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds" could have been behind the hacks. "Trump's team was more efficient during the election campaign".
"It is harmful, it brings damage to global relations, the world economy, security issues, fighting terrorism as well", Putin said at a SPIEF plenary session. "This situation needs to be thoroughly assessed", TASS news agency quoted Putin as saying.
President Vladimir Putin has ridiculed the USA focus on the Russian ambassador's contacts with members of President Donald Trump's team, saying that the envoy was only doing his job. "That is it. If there is something specific, then it will be a subject of discussion", Putin said. "That's his job. That's why we pay him", Putin said, according to a translation. "Even IP addresses could easily be faked".
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USA president Barack Obama in December announced sanctions against Russia in the wake of the allegations of election meddling, which included the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the shuttering of two Russian offices in the U.S.
Allegations by US intelligence agencies that Putin became personally involved in a covert hacking campaign meant to harm Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and give an advantage to Republican nominee Donald Trump will be one of the main topics on the agenda.
The Russian leader, who is keen to try to fix battered U.S. -Russia ties, said he thought there was no point dwelling on Trump's decision since the U.S. leader may be of the view that the necessary financial and other resources needed to comply with the accord may not be sufficient. World leaders on six continents condemned the decision, as did several United States governors and mayors.
He underlined the importance of the Paris climate accord, but noted that it's a framework agreement offering a broad room for maneuver for each signatory nation.
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.