Russian President, Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, shake hands after their talks in Putin's residence in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
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Putin, standing alongside her, bristled at the suggestion Russia had meddled in the U.S. presidential election and that it was planning more of the same in Europe.Allegations about Russia trying to get Donald Trump elected as U.S. president were "rumors", Putin said, generated as part of internal political battles in the United States.On the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists are fighting Kiev's rule, Putin and Merkel said they agreed on the need for the full implementation of the Minsk agreement, an internationally-brokered peace deal that is now effectively stalled.Touching on a sensitive point for the Russian authorities, Merkel said she had raised concerns with Putin about police breaking up anti-Kremlin protests, as well as other issues that human rights organizations say are a cause for alarm.Putin denied that Russian police had violated protesters' rights by arresting them, and fired a barb back at his European counterparts.
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