Wednesday, 01 April, 2020

Comey set to testify June 8 on Russia

Christy Curtis | 03 June, 2017, 01:30

"Help us restore normal political dialogue", Putin told executives from major USA companies during a business roundtable at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

The Russian leader said the "Russo-phobic hysteria" in the mostly aimed "against the current president of the prevent him from working normally". "If they feel patriotic, they try to make what they see as a fair contribution to the struggle against those who speak ill of Russian Federation". The goal is, Putin said, is to "establish an atmosphere that is going to prevent us from addressing common issues, say with regard to terrorism".

Raising the possibility of attacks by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots, Mr. Putin said that hackers "are like artists" who choose their targets depending how they feel "when they wake up in the morning."
Putin has denied government involvement in the hacking.

"We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons", the two countries said in the St Petersburg declaration titled "A vision for the 21st century".

The comments were notable because it is the first time Putin has said that Russians could have been involved in the hacks that targeted the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign team during the 2016 election.

Shortly before he left office then-President Barack Obama ordered the seizure of two Russian compounds, and expelled 35 diplomats for spying in response to the hacking.

Sitting around a rectangular table with a select group of global news agency editors, the 64-year-old Russian leader took questions one by one on subjects related not only of interest to the editors' countries but also of wider global concerns such as Syria, US President Donald Trump and the future of an emerging multi-polar world.

May, Corbyn clash over Brexit plans with UK vote a week away
She said the government had had to ensure Britain was "living within our means" given "the economic situation we had inherited". Corbyn has now cancelled planned appearances at stump events in Swindon and Stroud, and a rally in Bristol.

Some observers noted that Putin's latest statement that individual Russian hackers working independently might have taken it upon themselves to launch cyberattacks against the US represents a significant shift from his previous position when he insisted that no Russian hackers were involved in cyberattacks against USA institutions and campaign organizations during the 2016 general election.

Putin's comments during a June 1 meeting with senior editors of worldwide news agencies in St. Petersburg come amid the continuing fallout over what USA intelligence says was a Kremlin-directed hacking-and-propaganda campaign to influence last year's US presidential election. A leak of Macron's campaign documents in the late hours of the French election campaign appeared to confirm fears about Russian interference.

The Russian government has flatly denied the claim, which the FBI, CIA and NSA endorsed in January.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that while individual Russians may have "hacked" the USA elections in 2016, the Russian government had no role.

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".

Putin added that in his view, even if Pyongyang drops its nuclear and missile programs someday, Washington will still continue to deploy missile shields in the region under certain pretexts.

"In relations there are ups and downs but India and Russian Federation have not seen ups and down in their relations", Modi said.


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