Vladimir Putin Says he Wanted Donald Trump to Win US Election to Normalise Ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he had hoped for Donald Trump's victory in 2016 US presidential election because of his pledges to improve ties.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo)
Helsinki: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said his summit meeting with US leader Donald Trump was "very successful", following several hours of talks in Helsinki.
The leaders touched on issues including tensions on the Korean peninsula and the situation in Syria during their first summit, Putin said at a joint press conference.
"I consider them (the talks) very successful and useful," Putin said, praising the "frank and business-like atmosphere" of the summit.
He said Trump had raised accusations of Russian interference in US elections.
"I had to repeat what I have already said many times before -- the Russian state has never interfered and is not planning to interfere in the USA's internal affairs," Putin said.
"It is obvious to everyone that bilateral ties are going through a difficult period. However there are no objective reasons for these difficulties, the current tense atmosphere," he said.
Putin suggested special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into interference in the November 2016 vote, send Moscow a request to interview the Russians he suspects of meddling.
In response to a question about whether he had wanted Trump to win the election, Putin said he did, because the businessman had pledged to improve ties between Washington and Moscow.
Putin praised cooperation between Russian and US security services, adding that he favoured continued cooperation in "the fight against terror and ensuring cyber security".
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said separately that the talks were "better than super" in comments reported by Russian news agencies.
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