Putin “couldn’t care less” if Russians meddled in US presidential elections

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that he “couldn’t care less” if Russians attempted to interfere in the 2016 US presidential elections as long as they are not connected to the Kremlin.

In an interview with NBC network, Putin questioned “why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this.” On the 13 Russian individuals and three entities indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Muller last month, Putin said, “So what if they’re Russians? There are 146 million Russians. So what? — I don’t care. I couldn’t care less — They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.” “Maybe they’re not even Russians,” he remarked. “Maybe they have dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.” “We in Russia cannot prosecute anyone as long as they have not violated Russian law.” “At least send us a piece of paper — Give us a document. Give us an official request. And we’ll take a look at it.

“Are we the ones who imposed sanctions on the United States? The US imposed sanctions on us,” he went on.

As for accusations of Russia’s meddling in the elections, he wondered, “Could anyone really believe that Russia, thousands of miles away — influenced the outcome of the election? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous even to you? It’s not our goal to interfere. We do not see what goal we would accomplish by interfering. There’s no goal.” On US President Donald Trump, Putin said, “he understands that if it is necessary to establish a cooperative relationship with someone, then you have to treat your current or potential partner with respect,” adding “engaging in mutual accusations and insults, this is a road to nowhere.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency