Putin denounces latest sanctions passed by US Senate

Putin says Western sanctions made Russia stronger and comments on Comey leak

But now, Comey has a new friend; Russian President Vladimir #Putin could be willing to provide asylum to the embattled former chief spy.Speaking during a live call-in show that was broadcast by state media, President Putin compared Comey to whistleblower Edward Snowden, comparing Comey's leak of information to journalists to activism.

"What's the difference between him and Mr. [Edward] Snowden then?"

Russia's president has joked he could offer asylum to former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey if he runs into trouble for leaking recorded conversations with the USA president to the press.

Russian Federation has imposed counter-measures against most Western countries, blocking imports of produce and other goods, but Putin said these would be lifted in the event that sanctions are stopped.

It's freakish "when head of an intelligence service makes a record of his conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks this conversation to the media via a friend", Putin said.

If Putin serves another term, his two decades in power would make him the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who ruled for 29 years.

Putin insisted that there were "positive trends" in Russian soccer, including the creation of a youth academy by Russian businessman Sergey Galitskiy in the southern city of Krasnodar.




He revealed that his grandchildren are now attending kindergarten. He stated that no one talks directly about the issue because they do not want to quarrel with the United States. He said Western powers have imposed the sanctions because they view Russian Federation as a competitor. "Thank God for that at least", Putin said.

In a personal moment, Putin demanded that his children and grandchildren be "left in peace", outside of the public eye.

The president earlier talked of having grandchildren to film director Oliver Stone in a documentary released this month in the United States but not yet shown in Russian Federation. However, many believe that the decision is connected with the probe into alleged ties of Trump's campaign team to Russian Federation, as Comey reportedly was seeking funding to extend the bureau's inquiry.

Poor youth coaching and too many foreign players in the Russian league hold the team back, Putin suggests (according to the Associated Press report), but recent games show "there is potential".

He also didn't answer questions that appeared in graphic form at the bottom of the screen that differed from those that were actually being asked, such as, "Putin, do you really think people believe this circus of set-up questions?"

Another question referred to jailed opposition leader Navalny, whose video accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of massive corruption has been viewed 23 million times on YouTube.

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