Russia's president Vladimir Putin today for the first time appeared to acknowledge the possibility that Russian hackers could have been involved in the cyber-attacks that targeted the 2016 USA election, speculating that it could have been individual "patriotically inclined" Russian hackers who carried out the attacks. "If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions-which are right, from their point of view-to the fight against those who say bad things about Russian Federation", he said.
In response to the building up his military forces, the Russian President said Moscow was particularly alarmed by the deployment of the US THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea to counter a North Korean missile threat and to reported US plans to beef up Fort Greely in Alaska, a launch site for anti-ballistic missiles.
Moreover he said that any influence there may have been from any hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign was likely inconsequential.
"My firm conviction is that no hackers can influence a foreign election campaign in a significant way".
"No hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America", he added.
Putin also denied that the Kremlin has ever been involved in hacking, which comes after Russian Federation was accused of meddling in both the 2016 US Presidential election and last month's French Presidential election.
According to Putin, the total amount of Russian investments in the Indian economy reached $4 billion, while Indian investments in Russia amounted to $8 billion. "Modern technologies allow that to be done quite easily".More news: Ultimate Test Awaits Ducks Tonight in Do-or-Die Game 6
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Hacks in the election included a huge theft of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign team. "We are ready for this", Putin said.
Regarding the Far East, Putin said Russia's military deployments on a group of Pacific islands also claimed by Japan are driven by Kremlin concerns over the US military buildup in the region.
Speaking on Thursday, Putin praised Trump as a "straightforward, frank person" who had brought to the job a "fresh set of eyes".
In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that it has been investigating allegations of Russian interference. He added that he has a good relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, despite her criticism of Moscow during a joint press conference early May.
He claimed these punitive measures had "zero effect" and said he hoped they would be ended because they are "counterproductive" to all sides. The Trump administration has said it will maintain the sanctions while it engages with Russian Federation on other issues such as ending the war in Syria and counterterrorism operations.
The Russian president argued that the recent worsening of relations between the West and Russia might have prompted some "patriotically-minded" Russian hackers to act on their own. The U.S. and the European Union have slapped Moscow with sanctions over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
Modi's Russian Federation visit comes at a time when Russian Federation has moved closer to India's adversaries, China and Pakistan, raising unease in New Delhi and also raising a fundamental question: Is Moscow still India's "tried and trusted" friend?