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Russia dismisses US report as 'unfounded'

China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-13 10:11
Vladimir Putin, Russian president. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW-The Kremlin has dismissed a new report by US Senate Democrats describing Russian interference in the United States and throughout Europe as unfounded and President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of "aggressive" overreaction.

The 200-page report commissioned by US Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the first from Congress to detail alleged Russian efforts to undermine democracies since the 2016 US election.

Commenting on the report, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "The accusations of alleged meddling leveled against our country are absolutely unfounded".

Speaking at a televised meeting with Russian newspaper editors, Putin pointed at what he described as US meddling in other countries' affairs, adding: "If they poke their nose everywhere they must be able to respond to certain challenges they provoke themselves.

"But please don't interpret it like a recognition of our meddling, we haven't meddled," he added.

Putin said Russia remains willing to improve ties with the US, but added that the US political infighting makes it difficult.

"The domestic political situation in the US isn't calming down," he said.

"They are playing the Russian card in US politics, and they are threatening the incumbent president with impeachment, using the alleged Russian interference as an argument."

Putin, who is running for a fourth presidential term which polls show he should comfortably win, also said that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was Washington's pick for the Russian presidency, which was why the US had complained about Navalny not being allowed to run for office.

"The person you mentioned (Navalny) is not the only one who hasn't been allowed to run (in the election), but for some reason they are not talking about the other people," Putin said.

"That obviously shows the US administration's preferences when it comes to who they want to lead other countries, who they want to move forward in Russian politics, and who they'd like to see in the country's leadership."

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