Putin Meets Merkel, Denies Election Interfering

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Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday denied that Moscow ever interfered in elections in other countries.

Addressing a joint news conference after his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his Black Sea residence, Putin said accusations of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election were “simply rumours” and were being used as part of the political fight in Washington.

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Putin also denied interfering in the European elections, The Washington Post reports.

The U.S. intelligence agencies, however, earlier said they had proof that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic email accounts, aimed at benefiting President Donald Trump’s campaign and harming his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Merkel asserted she was confident that Germany could take on any disinformation campaign targetting Germany’s upcoming election.

Merkel’s visit to Sochi is her first trip to Russia in two years even as the relations between the two countries remain strained over the unresolved conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Merkel and Putin last met in Germany in October for talks aimed at reviving the stalled peace process.

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