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Putin demands evidence of guilt of individuals accused of meddling in US election

March 03, 4:22 updated at: March 03, 6:44 UTC+3 NEW YORK

He said Russia could not respond to the accusations if the accused individuals did not break Russian laws

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© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

NEW YORK, March 3. /TASS/. Russia needs to study the evidence on the guilt of individuals accused in the US of interference in the 2016 presidential election and it will take an independent decision on whether or not they are guilty, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the NBC, the fragments of which the channel aired on Friday.

He said Russia could not respond to the accusations if the accused individuals did not break Russian laws. "We cannot respond to that if they don’t violate Russian laws," he said.

"With all due respect for you [interviewer Megyn Kelly] personally, with all due respect for Congress, you must have people with legal degrees," Putin went on. "One hundred percent you do. And people who are well educated must understand that we in Russia cannot prosecute people if they have not violated Russian law."

When the interviewer said she had a degree in law, too, Putin remarked: "Then you have to understand that it takes an official request to the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation. Give us a document, give us an official request. This has to go through official channels, not through the press or yelling in the US Congress."

Washington has persistently accused Moscow of interference with the US presidential election in 2016. Investigations of the alleged meddling are currently underway under the umbrella of the FBI, the specialized committees for intelligence at the US Senate and the House of Representatives, and the staff of the specially appointed attorney Robert Mueller.

On the face of it, President Donald Trump and the key officials in his Administration have more than once refuted the allegations regarding a ‘collusion’ with ‘Russian emissaries’ during the turbulent election race.

Moscow, too, has refuted on many occasions the assertions about its ostensible striving to wiled impact on the course of the US election.

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