Putin dis­misses US hack­ing claims

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PRES­I­DENT Vladimir Putin said US claims Rus­sia had di­rected cy­ber at­tacks against Wash­ing­ton sought to “dis­tract” Amer­i­can vot­ers from do­mes­tic prob­lems.

Wash­ing­ton last week for­mally ac­cused the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of try­ing to “in­ter­fere” in the 2016 White House race by hack­ing US po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions, charges the Krem­lin has re­peat­edly dis­missed.

“There are lots of prob­lems [in the US],” Mr Putin said in a tele­vised press con­fer­ence on the side­lines of the BRICS sum­mit in In­dia.

“And in th­ese con­di­tions, many re­sort to tried-and-tested meth­ods to dis­tract vot­ers’ at­ten­tion from their own prob­lems.”

The Krem­lin strong­man ac­cused US of­fi­cials of por­tray­ing Rus­sia as an “en­emy” in order to “unite a coun­try in the fight” against it.

“This card is be­ing played ac­tively,” he said.

The Krem­lin has slammed Wash­ing­ton for its “un­prece­dented” threats af­ter US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den told NBC that Mr Putin would re­ceive a “mes­sage” over the al­leged hack­ing.

Mr Bi­den had said Wash­ing­ton would re­spond to the al­leged at­tacks “at the time of our choos­ing and un­der the cir­cum­stances that have the great­est im­pact”.

NBC re­ported that the CIA was pre­par­ing a re­tal­ia­tory cy­ber at­tack “de­signed to ha­rass and ‘em­bar­rass’ the Krem­lin lead­er­ship”.

Strik­ing a more con­cil­ia­tory note, Mr Putin said he hoped Moscow and Wash­ing­ton could im­prove their re­la­tions once “this dif­fi­cult pe­riod in the po­lit­i­cal life of the United States will pass”.

The Krem­lin was pro­pelled to the heart of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics af­ter Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign blamed Rus­sia for an em­bar­rass­ing leak of emails from the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee. –

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