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Putin says allegations Russia meddled in U.S. election are rumors

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SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that allegations that Russia had meddled in last year’s U.S. presidential election were based on rumors and that Moscow did not want foreign powers to interfere in Russian politics.

Putin was speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi and responding to a question about U.S. allegations of Moscow’s meddling and allegations that Russia might meddle in German elections on Sept. 24.

“We never interfere in the political life and the political processes of other countries and we don’t want anybody interfering in our political life and foreign policy processes,” said Putin.

The Russian leader said foreign powers had tried to meddle in Russian politics many times in recent years however, including through non-governmental organizations.

The U.S. allegations were the result of domestic U.S. political battles, said Putin.

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk/Alexander Winning; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe