Putin urges US business to help normalize Russia-US ties


United States president Donald Trump should not be judged for his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said at the plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said Friday that it is Ambassador Sergei Kislyak's duty to maintain contacts with various people in Washington. Investigators are also reportedly looking into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and whether any campaign officials were complicit in colluding with the 2016 election meddling.

"The problem isn't us, the problem is inside USA politics", he said.

Probes have centered on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was sacked three weeks into his tenure after lying about his contact with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak and former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

"But it turned out that he was right", Mr Putin said.

IP addresses allegedly belonging to Russian hackers - he said those could have been rigged and would not stand as credible evidence. He said:"fingerprints of what exactly?"

Putin also criticised US eavesdropping on its own allies like Germany, saying such activity inevitably backfired.

"The other team, they made a mistake", Putin said of Democrats.

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USA president Barack Obama in December announced sanctions against Russia in the wake of the allegations of election meddling, which included the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the shuttering of two Russian offices in the U.S.

His announcement triggered a furious backlash from global leaders, including the Chinese premier who said Beijing "will steadfastly" implement the Paris climate pact. "There were no agreements. We didn't even start negotiations".

"You shouldn't make a noise about this, but should create the conditions for joint work", Putin said at an economic forum, adding that Trump had said he wanted to renegotiate a new deal.

"Does squabbling over North Atlantic Treaty Organisation help Russian Federation?" he said. World leaders on six continents condemned the decision, as did several United States governors and mayors.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that there is no specific evidence about Moscow?s 'interference in USA presidential election and the allegations are just based on assumptions.

He underlined the importance of the Paris climate accord, but noted that it's a framework agreement offering broad room for manoeuvre for each signatory nation.

Trump said, according to the Paris Climate deal terms, China will be allowed many coal plants, and India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020, but not the US.

"We had to use our brains", Putin said.