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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that opposition figure Alexei Navalny is supported by American intelligence services and reiterated that Russia’s FSB security service was not behind his alleged poisoning, speaking during his annual end-of-year news conference on Thursday.
Putin said that if someone wanted to assassinate the anti-corruption campaigner, they would have “finished the job.”
He also stated that the FSB were within their rights to follow Navalny, after a joint investigation by Russian outlet The Insider, along with CNN, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Bellingcat, claimed that the Kremlin critic had been surveilled before his hospitalisation.
He also commented on allegations that Russian hackers had sought to help US President Donald Trump get elected, saying the claims were a “provocation” and an attempt to influence the US-Russia relations.
Putin’s annual end-of-year news conference is carried out in online format this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation (Russian): “I think that this is not a question from you, but a provocation. Russian hackers did not help the incumbent US President to be elected and did not interfere in the domestic affairs of this great power. This is all wool-gathering and a pretext to make the relations between Russia and the US worse. This is a pretext to avoid acknowledgment of the incumbent US President’s legitimacy due to domestic US matters. In this sense, Russian-American relations are a hostage of domestic US affairs.” *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation (Russian): “Regarding this ballot-stuffing, there is nothing to be wondered about, they have always existed and will exist. This is such information warfare. They existed earlier. Remember the difficult events in the Caucasus, the fight against international terrorism, and the way your obedient servant was presented in the international media and, unfortunately, in our country as well. I remember well how I was depicted with all those canine teeth and so on. But I always emanate from the fact that I should do what our country needs and I do not do things to present myself in a pretty manner for someone abroad. This is the first part. The second part concerns, let’s say, my relatives. It is impossible to read this material. I looked through it, of course, as it concerns me. But there is such a compilation and everything at once that I was unable to read it to the end. But I want to pay you attention to the fact that the material always says ‘son-in-law’ of the president, but in the end, they yet write ‘ex-son-in-law’. This is the first thing. Those the material puts it as if it was a ‘son-in-law’. The first thing. The second thing. President Putin banned elites from having activities abroad. Public servants are banned from the possession of activities abroad. And this was the right thing to do. Public servants must not have any bank accounts of financial activity [abroad]. The companies spoken about are 100 percent private. The state doesn’t have any share there. Furthermore, who and how got shares in this [Sibur] company. It turned out that this company published the corresponding data and expressed its view on the case. It turned out that they had incentive programs for top-management. And Mr. Shamalov being a top-manager got his share in accordance with the rules. There are other programs for other management levels – they get their share according to other rules. There is nothing special.” *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation (Russian): “Listen, we understand well that in the first case and in the second one, this is legalisation of the US security services materials. Our security services understand and know well that they surveil geolocation. Federal security service employees and other organs know that and use phones where they need them and where they think it is not necessary to hide their place. And if it is so, and it is so I assure you. This means that the Berlin clinic patient [Alexei Navalny] is supported by the US security services in this case. And if it is correct, then it is a matter of curiosity and our security services should keep an eye on him. But this doesn’t mean they have to poison him. Who needs to poison him? If somebody wanted, they would have finished the job.” *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
Video ID: 20201217-020
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