Putin denies any Russian state involvement in hacking

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has denied any state involvement in hacking the West.

Speaking at a meeting with heads of global news agencies on Thursday, Mr Putin said: "We don't engage in that at the state level."

But he admitted the possibility that "patriotic" hackers could carry out attacks amid the cold spell in relations with western countries.

Russia is alleged to have been involved in a hacking campaign to influence last year's US presidential election.

Russia has been accused of trying to boost Donald Trump during the election race. Credit: AP

US intelligence agencies have accused Moscow of hacking into Democratic Party emails, helping Donald Trump's election victory.

However, Mr Putin said that "no hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America".

The president also warned that any attempts to contain Russia will not succeed.

Without naming any particular country, Mr Putin said that Russia has faced attempts to hurt its legitimate interests.

The US and the EU have hit Moscow with sanctions over the annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and support for pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

There has been continued fighting between and Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian military. Credit: AP

Putin said that economic restrictions against Russia have had "zero effect."

But he also predicted that current tensions in relations will thaw, because "it's counterproductive and harmful".