Vladimir Putin Faces Questions From Megyn Kelly in St. Petersburg

Elias Hubbard
June 3, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied Friday that Moscow had colluded with members of Donald Trump's campaign team before the new administration took office, and said that US allegations that Russia tipped the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump "reminds me of anti-Semitism and blaming the Jews".

Speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said he did not want to judge Trump for his decision, but thought Washington could have remained in the 2015 Paris climate pact by amending the scale of existing US undertakings.

"IP addresses can be invented", Putin told NBC News' Megyn Kelly in a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia Friday.

"What fingerprints?" Putin said sarcastically.

While Putin has frequently denied Russia's role in election hacking, USA intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russian Federation attempted to influence the election.

Urging world leaders to work with Mr Trump, he said: "You shouldn't make a noise about this, but should create the conditions for joint work".

Putin, a former KGB officer and ex-head of Russia's FSB security service, made his comments about Snowden in an interview with U.S. film director Oliver Stone, excerpts of which were released ahead of its broadcast by U.S. TV network Showtime from June 12.

Vladimir Chuprov, who tracks the Russian energy industry for the environmental group Greenpeace, said hardliners in the Kremlin will be buoyed by Trump's decision. "We want to carry everyone along for development", he said. Putin underlined the importance of securing the Syrian state, adding that it's essential for combatting terrorism."The president spoke of his personal commitment to the Syria dossier and of his support for the Syrian opposition in view of a political transition", his office said in a statement.Putin later visited a new Orthodox cathedral complex in central Paris. He described the focus on Kislyak's contacts as "catastrophic nonsense".

Ambassador Sergei Kislyak's meetings with members of Trump's team have been a focus of the congressional investigation.

Putin added that there is a specific fear of the possibility of those areas to turn into models to divide the country in the future.

"What else is the ambassador supposed to do?"

"The agreement has not yet even come in effect", he said.

Asked if Russia is happy to see divisions in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over Trump's push for members to increase defense spending, the Russian leader responded on an acerbic note that Moscow would be happy to see the meltdown of the alliance he described as a Cold War relic.

Putin also said that Trump's promise to negotiate new conditions for the USA leaves hope for reaching a compromise before the Paris deal is set to take effect in 2021.

We cannot waste time in discussing our differences, we need to mature and modernize regional interactions, to use the scientific potential and that of the United Nations and the secretary general of that body, Antonio Guterres, present here, can confirm this, Putin said.

Defending Mr Trump's decision, vice president Mike Pence dismissed climate change as "a paramount issue for the left".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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