Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Putin suggests Russian soccer league has too many foreign players

Putin suggests Russian soccer league has too many foreign players

Putin also answered a question about former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was sacked for investigating ties between Donald Trump's team and Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin isn't giving a direct answer when asked whether he will be Russia's President this time next year, saying only that the Russian people should decide who succeeds him.

It's freakish "when head of an intelligence service makes a record of his conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks this conversation to the media via a friend", Mr Putin said.

"I do not know the details of Comey's testimony but some things are clear to me", Putin said, referring to the ex-FBI director's address to the U.S. Senate in which he spoke of awkward encounters with Trump.

Putin batted away any suggestions that Russian Federation interfered in the U.S. election, citing a lack of evidence. "We have our opinion, we say it openly, but it's not some kind of underground sabotage activity", Putin said.

While it was not clear if Putin's offer was serious or not, many justifiably considered it a joke, give the prominent role Russian Federation is playing in discussions of American politics today.

So is a possible Vladimir Putin, Edward Snowden and James Comey supergroup on the horizon?

He continued: "We see that Russophobia is developing in the United States".

"We have been through two wars together", Putin said.

Putin dismissed recent United States efforts to tighten the sanctions, saying it was evidence of the United States looking for an external power to blame for its own political strife.

Putin said that a slump in oil prices had been a more important factor in Russia's economic slowdown than the sanctions.

An annual fixture on Putin's calendar, the televised question-and-answer session is carefully choreographed. Moscow and Washington can cooperate on issues, including the non-proliferation of weapons and the Syria crisis, he added. Putin said he had no particular advice to offer on that matter, but said he was sure that bilateral relations could strengthen on a basis of mutual respect. "Those who offer solution deserve undivided attention and they are entitled to dialogue with the authorities", he said.

The Kremlin has always denied the claims, saying there was no "direct" proof that Moscow meddled in the USA presidential election.

In an apparent glitch in the carefully choreographed live show, the screen displayed some rather caustic questions from viewers sent in by text message.

Putin also noted that Moscow hopes that the USA could play a "constructive role" in helping settle the Ukrainian crisis.

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