Putin says Russia not trying to influence U.S. presidential election

GOA, India, Oct. 16 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday his country has no intention of trying to influence the U.S. presidential election and hopes once the election is over, relations between the two countries will normalize.

He called the notion of spying by Russia hypocritical, since American security is “spying on everyone and eavesdropping on everyone.”

Speaking from Goa, India, during the Brazil, India, China, South Africa conference, Putin told reporters “I want to set everyone’s mind at rest, including our American friends and partners – we are not going to influence the U.S. election campaign and the answer is very simple – we don’t know what will be after the U.S. presidential elections,” Bloomberg reported.

He said Russia’s security works under strict guidelines while the NSA, or U.S. National Security Agency, does not. That’s when the lights blinked off, then immediately back on, during the news conference. Putin looked up, laughing.”Certainly something went wrong” he said. “Maybe I said something wrong.”

He said to reporters that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for cooperation with Russia while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been more aggressive toward his country in her dialogue.

But, he said, Russia wants the two countries to have smooth relations.

There is always chatter about spying, he said, “They mutter in the ear: Wait, (the election campaign) will be over and everything will normalize. But you know, this is not that funny already.”

Putin said he wants ties with the United Staes restored, regardless of who the next president is, Tass, the official Russian news agency reported

“If our partners in the United States intend to work with us, we will,” Putin said. “I hope that when
the debate is over, this difficult period in the United State’s internal political life is over, there’ll be
a chance to restore relations between Russia and the U.S.”

Relations between the two countries have been strained since the collapse of a Syrian ceasefire agreement. The United States accused Russia of war crimes in Syria and of cyberwarfare used to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.

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