Putin ready to meet Trump in Finland if it hosts summit

Speaking on a panel during the International Arctic Forum in Arkangelsk, Russia on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked directly about his country's alleged involvement in influencing last November's us presidential election.

Vladimir Putin at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia on Thursday.

Putin quoted George Bush Sr., who at the Republican National Convention in 1988 said, "read my lips, no new taxes".

Moderator Geoff Cutmore, from CNBC, asked Putin if he or the Russian government tampered with the 2016 election - as has been alleged in numerous USA intelligence reports - and if any evidence of that will emerge.

He dismissed such claims as "lies" and "provocations", saying the contacts that Russian diplomats made in the U.S. were just part of their routine work. They are used for domestic American political agendas.

"It's not in the interests of the majority of American people to take US-Russian relations to the point of absurdity", Putin said.

Putin on Thursday said the Russian Federation allegations are used as a way to prevent Trump from implementing his policies and accused the forces behind them as irresponsible.

"Do we want to completely cut relations?" he said.

US Secretary of State Tillerson in Turkey for talks
The premier's office also said Yildirim and Tillerson discussed the next steps that should be taken for Gulen's return to Turkey . Discussions are occurring about keeping the forces under Turkey's direction or transferring them to USA leadership, Col.

Finland will begin its role as chair of the Arctic Council in May.

The White House has said that Mr Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr Trump, has volunteered to answer questions about arranging meetings with the Russian ambassador and other officials.

The FBI and House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating Russia's alleged influence on the presidential campaign, including possible collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government.

Putin's comments are the President's most emphatic denial of the accusations yet, and are the first he has directly made since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has criticised the BBC for reporting on the alleged role of a Russian embassy worker in Mr Trump's election as U.S. president. We can say without exaggeration that cooperation in the Arctic today is a model for a good-neighbourly, stable, and predictable policy. "When it's over, I hope we decide on holding a meeting" with Trump.

Putin said he would be glad to go to such a meeting but added that he also would be ready to meet Trump in Germany at a July G-20 summit that they both plan to attend.

Putin recalled that the same tactic was used at the beginning of the Arab Spring, which triggered a chain of sanguinary events in the region and was one of the factors behind the government coup in Ukraine. "We know very well what that led to, what bloody events in the region that led to", Putin said. "On the contrary, we must strive to resolve conflicts of any kind".

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