Kremlin rubbishes 'stupid' claims that Trump a Russian agent


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed claims that President Donald Trump has been working on the Kremlin's behalf as he attacked Congress and the American media for undermining the US leader.

In a wide-ranging press conference, Mr Lavrov also ridiculed allegations that US President Donald Trump could have worked for Moscow's interests.

"He was caught red-handed", Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. The United States, for its part, says that it is Russian Federation that has been meddling in the elections and other internal affairs of countries worldwide.

The INF bans ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, similarly derided media reports of Trump's possible promotion of Russian interests.

Trump said Monday that he "never worked for Russia" after reports that the FBI grew so concerned by his actions toward Moscow that they quietly began a counterintelligence investigation into whether he was working on its behalf.

The United States says it will suspend its treaty obligations if Russian does not come into compliance by February 2.

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"It's quite obvious that the situation is absurd", Lavrov said about the USA investigation. "This right is under attack from Congress and this doesn't make these attacks constitutional or less illegal".

"Our questions why the Americans don't want to examine our proposals and get first-hand information about specific parameters of the missile were left unheard", he said.

This year's press conference came amid persistent tension with the West over a welter of matters ranging from Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 to the arrest of Paul Whelan - a citizen of the United States, Britain, Canada, and Ireland - on suspicion of espionage in late December.

Russian Federation said on Wednesday that it had caught former US marine Paul Whelan, who is being held in Russian Federation on spying charges, while he was in the act of carrying out illegal activities in his Moscow hotel room. The Interfax news agency later carried the Foreign Ministry's statement saying that Whelan's brother isn't in the Russian capital. The U.S. Embassy did not immediately comment.

Mr Lavrov rejected the allegations that Russian authorities could have arrested Mr Whelan in order to swap him for one of the Russians held in the United States, saying "we don't do such things".

Lavrov has said a Russian desire to normalize relations with Tokyo meant it agreed to step up talks about the territorial dispute and the peace deal, but that significant differences remain between the two sides.