Vladimir Putin likens USA election allegations to anti-Semitism

In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session, Putin also questioned Trump's call for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to increase their military spending.

Putin also said that allegations there had been a secret deal between Moscow and Trump before his inauguration as US president were "hysteria". Agreeing with President Putin, who spoke before him, the Prime Minister said technology is going to play a key role, and mentioned the Digital India initiative.

U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Putin of ordering a hacking and influence campaign to tilt last year's election in favor of Republican Donald Trump, after the billionaire pledged to boost ties with Moscow.

"Don't worry, be happy", said Putin.

Putin, addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, said on Friday that the hacking accusations were nothing more than "harmful gossip" which he complained was damaging international relations and the global economy.

"Hackers can be anywhere", Putin told Kelly.

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"Those people who disagree with me will never believe what I say right now, I had never known anything about it", he said. "We have today an annual GDP growth rate of 7%", he said.

His lawyer said in January Snowden had the right to remain in Russia until 2020 and to apply for Russian citizenship next year.

Snowden, 33, was given asylum in Russian Federation in 2013 after leaking classified information about USA spy operations.

On Thursday, Putin suggested for the first time that private "patriotic" hackers could be behind attacks on the world's democracies - but he still denied interfering in the US election.

Putin insisted that it was perfectly normal for Kislyak to try to establish contacts and discuss future ties, adding that he hadn't started to discuss specifics.

"The other (Clinton) team miscalculated".

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"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.

"Now we should come out of good terrorism, bad terrorism (debate); my terrorist, your terrorist (syndrome)".

"If you're not intending to attack anybody, why increase your military spending?" asked Putin.

President Trump on Thursday announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, arguing that the 2015 agreement was detrimental to the USA economy.

Touching on tensions in the Pacific, Putin said Russia's military deployments on a group of Pacific islands also claimed by Japan have been caused by concerns about the US military buildup in the region.

The head of the Center for Economic Research at the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Basil Koltashov, said Russian Federation is backing away from the deal.

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