Putin leaves Russians guessing on economic reform plan

Elias Hubbard
June 4, 2017

In an interview with NBC News' Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, a preview of which was released to media, Putin said hackers in the United States could have made it look like Russian Federation was behind the hack for political reasons.

Just a day after saying that "patriotic" Russian hackers might have meddled with the 2016 US presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, suggested that those hackers could have come from "anywhere".

"The economy has entered a new phase of expansion", Putin said at a keynote speech in Saint Petersburg, insisting Russian Federation was "open for joint work, for making good on joint projects that are profitable for all". "Is this possible? Theoretically, yes".

Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is likely to have a positive effect on investors' attitude to Russia, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told TASS on Friday on the forum's sidelines.

While Putin's government signed the 2015 Paris accord, he has delayed formally ratifying the agreement for at least two more years.

"The multi-polar world is becoming more of a reality and the monopolists don't like that", he said.

In an interview with NBC News' Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, a preview of which was released to media, Putin said United States hackers could have made it look like Russian Federation was responsible for political reasons.

Kelly told viewers that Putin - the former director of Russia's domestic spy agency - also suggested that the CIA could have been behind the hacking and noted that many people were convinced Russian Federation was responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Can you imagine something like that? Putin at first seemed to double down on his assertion earlier in the week that "patriotic", but freelance Russian hackers could have influenced the election.

USA intelligence agencies have accused Russian Federation of hacking into Democratic Party emails, helping Donald Trump's election victory, and the congressional and FBI investigations into the Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation have broken the Kremlin's hopes for a detente with Washington. "Could you imagine something like that?"

However, Putin's position on possible interference by his country in the US election is similar to the way he repeatedly shifted his version of Russia's role in the 2014 annexation of Crimea and in armed rebellions in eastern Ukraine, according to the New York Times.

"I have read these reports", said Putin. But Putin has steadfastly denied the allegations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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