Putin says Moscow has nothing to do with Russian military in Mali

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, in Moscow, Russia, February 7, 2022. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, Feb 8 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said the Russian state had nothing to do with Russian military contractors working in Mali, adding that the African country had the right to work with private Russian firms.

Putin, speaking at a news conference after talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, said there were no complaints from Mali over the Russian military contractors' activity in the country. France is strongly opposed to mercenary activity there.

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrew Osborn Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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