Putin meets Merkel, denies interfering in US election
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that allegations that Russia had meddled in last year's US presidential election were based on rumours and that Moscow did not want foreign powers to interfere in Russian politics.
Putin was speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi and responding to a question about US allegations of Moscow's meddling and allegations that Russia might meddle in German elections on September 24.
The meeting between the two leaders was a signal of renewed dialogue despite profound rifts, on Merkel's first visit to Russia since 2015. "We never interfere in the political life and the political processes of other countries and we don't want anybody interfering in our political life and foreign policy processes," said Putin. The Russian leader said foreign powers had tried to meddle in Russian politics many times in recent years however, including through non-governmental organisations. Merkel said she was not fearful of Russian meddling in German polls. Merkel has strongly backed EU sanctions on Russia for seizing Crimea.