Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reaffirmed his government’s stance that it has never indulged in hacking any election, nor will it ever do so. He added that some “patriotic” persons could have hacked the polls, though, as a pay back for “Russo-phobic hysteria”. On being asked whether Russia would try to nudge German parliamentary elections due to be held in 2017, Putin said, “We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so”.
While speaking to international media in Moscow, Putin said that getting election results to sway in a particular candidate’s favour is not so easy. “I’m deeply convinced that no hackers can radically influence another country’s election campaign. No hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America,” he said.
He also said the Russian involvement in alleged election hacks might be have been staged to portray the Kremlin in a bad light. “I can imagine that some do it deliberately, staging a chain of attacks in such a way as to cast Russia as the origin of such an attack,” Putin said, adding, “Modern technologies allow that to be done quite easily.”
Putin’s statement comes in the backdrop of allegations of hacking against Moscow made by US intelligence agencies who allegedly found proof of Russian involvement in US presidential elections of 2016 in which Republican candidate Donald Trump won.