Putin claims Russia is NOT behind cyber attacks and election meddling – and hints critic Alexei Navalny may die in jail

VLADIMIR Putin has claimed that Russia is not behind cyber attacks and election meddling, and hinted that critic Alexei Navalny may die in jail.

The Russian president made the comments during an interview with NBC, just days before he is set to meet with Joe Biden.

Tensions between the two presidents have been high since Russia was accused of meddling in the 2020 US election.

However, Putin has now spoken out about the allegations, claiming they are "farcical" and demanding proof.

"We have been accused of all kinds of things," Putin said. "Election interference, cyber attacks and so on and so forth.

"And not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. Just unfounded accusations."

Biden then went on to blacklist six Russian technology companies for "carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential election, and other acts of disinformation and interference."

However, Putin called for the US and Russia to work together to fight cyber attacks, saying: "It is our great hope that we will be able to set up this process with our US partners."

Biden is set to meet with Putin on Wednesday, where they will discuss the relationship between the two countries.

This weekend, Biden admitted that the connection between Russia and the US are "at a low point."

"Let me make it clear. I think he is right it is a low point," Biden said about Putin's recent assessment of the countries.

"And it depends on how he responds to acting consistent with international norms. Which in many cases he has not."

A host of issues are on the table as the two men meet, including US concerns about Russian sabre-rattling on the Ukrainian border, the imprisonment of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, and Putin's support for Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

Speaking about Navalny, Putin denied ordering a hit on his political rival, who was poisoned with a nerve agent.

However, he did not guarantee that the opposition leader would get out of prison alive.

"Look, such decisions in this country are not made by the president," Putin said. He went on to insist that Navalny "will not be treated any worse than anybody else."

Washington has insisted for weeks now that its aim is to make relations between the two countries more "stable and predictable".

The joint press conference that followed the meeting between Biden's predecessor Donald Trump and Putin in Helsinki in July 2018 is still fresh in the memory in the United States.

Trump caused an outcry in his own camp by indicating he accepted the word of Putin above the conclusions of his own intelligence agencies that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

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