Putin says Russia has many friends in the United States

Russian President Putin delivers speech at session of International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk

ARKHANGELSK, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his country had many friends in the United States and that its troubled relations with Washington would get back on track at some point.

Putin denied that Russia had interfered in last year’s U.S. presidential election and said contacts that Russian diplomats had made in the United States were merely part of their routine work.

Allegations to the contrary were “lies” and “provocations,” he said.

(Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)