Putin: Jews, Ukrainians 'with Russian citizenship' could be behind United States election meddling

Putin told NBC News in an interview that the USA was refusing to work with Russia on cyber security and "instead throws 13 Russians to the media".

Trump has also hinted that he gives Putin the benefit of the doubt when he denies that Moscow interfered.

"We in Russia can not prosecute anyone as long as they have not violated Russian law", he said.

"Even though this is his first term as President, he is a quick study, and he understands perfectly well that trading accusations or insults at our level is a road to nowhere", Putin said.

Asked whether the Russian president could have "pardoned" opposition activist Alexei Navalny so he could be a competitor in the presidential election, Putin replied "I would like to cooperate with these people and ready for it".

Asked why not, he said: "I have other ways of expressing my point of view or implementing a decision".

In an interview with American broadcaster NBC News that aired Saturday, Putin also suggested that some of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by the United States may not be ethnically Russian. "I don't care. I couldn't care less". The U.S. believes Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attacks, attacks Putin claimed are impossible because according to him, Russian Federation rid Syria of all its chemical weapons long ago.

More news: Tillerson highlights sub-Saharan security challenges ahead of Africa visit

The indictment alleges that starting in 2014, the Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency tried to disrupt the USA political process and sow discord through stealing US identities and falsely claiming to be US activists.

US intelligence agencies and many Western analysts have said that Russian interference came at the orders of the Kremlin.

"It's not our goal to interfere".

Putin said he doesn't read Trump's tweets and doesn't tweet himself.

Putin suggested in the interview that the reason Trump has seemed deferential to him is he knew upon taking office that he needed to develop a "cooperative relationship" with Russian Federation and thus he needed to treat his counterpart with respect. "Well, Donald is a more modern person", the Russian leader told the journalist.

In terms of the future of Russia-U.S. relations, he cast Russian Federation as the victim. He was emphatic that he would never extradite the suspects to the United States to face trial. "I believe that the current president wants to do that, but there are forces that won't let him do it".

  • Adam Floyd