putin thursday interview to “senior editors of the world’s leading news agencies”

Pres Putin’s comments
AP, Jun 1 2017

5:30 p.m. – The head of the French government’s cyber-security agency, ANSSI, which investigated leaks from Pres Macron’s election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group (sic! – RB) behind the attack. ANSSI’s experts were immediately dispatched when documents stolen from the Macron campaign leaked online on May 5 in the closing hours of the presidential race. In an interview in his office Thursday with AP, Guillaume Poupard said they found no trace that the (imaginary) Russian hacking group known as APT28 was responsible. Poupard said:

The hack was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone. That means that we can imagine that it was a person who did this alone. They could be in any country.

4:30 p.m. – Pres Putin has hailed Pres Trump as a straightforward person with a fresh vision. Putin said Russia had been encouraged by Trump’s campaign statements in which he lamented Pindo-Russian ties being at a historical low and promised to improve them. Putin emphasized that Moscow still hopes to forge a constructive dialogue with the Trump administration. He praised Trump as “a straightforward person, a frank person.” Putin added that while some see Trump’s lack of political experience as a disadvantage, he sees it as beneficial because “he has a fresh set of eyes.”

3:45 p.m. – Pres Putin has expressed regret that anti-Russian sentiments in Pindostan have prevented cooperation on fighting terrorism. Meeting with international journalists on Thursday, Putin said “there are certain dimensions we can pursue more actively in fighting terror,” but “Russophobic hysteria” in Pindostan has made such cooperation all but impossible. Asked if he could offer any advice to Trump, Putin said it would be “counter-productive” to give advice to a political counterpart and added:

A person like Pres Trump doesn’t need any advice, especially if it comes to political issues. My wish is to forge a constructive dialogue underpinned by national interests. I believe it’s possible with the current Pindo president.

3 p.m. – Pres Putin says Moscow will wait until current anti-Russian sentiments in Pindostan abate before trying to forge ties with Pres Trump. Putin said:

The current atmosphere makes it somewhat inconvenient to work with one another or even to talk, but some day this will have to stop. The Russophobic hysteria is aimed against the current president of Pindostan to prevent him from working normally, but this will end sooner or later. We are patient. We know how to wait and we will wait.

1:35 p.m. – Pres Putin says that Russia’s military deployments on the Southern Kuriles have been caused by concerns about the Pindo military build-up in the region. The four islands were seized by the FSU at the end of WW2, preventing the two countries from signing a peace treaty. Putin said that Pindostan will likely continue to build up its missile shield in the region even if NK agrees to curb its nuclear and missile programs.

1:10 p.m. – Pres Putin has warned that attempts to contain Russia won’t succeed. Putin said that Russia has faced attempts to hurt its legitimate interests. Putin said that economic restrictions against Russia have had “zero effect.” He predicted that the current strain in relations will ease, because “it’s counter-productive and harmful.”

1 p.m. – Pres Putin says the Russian state has never been involved in hacking. Putin said that some individual “patriotic” hackers could mount some attacks, but he said:

We don’t engage in that at the state level. In any case, no hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America.

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