Published:  12:56 AM, 12 June 2018

Putin dismisses G7 criticism as 'babbling', calls for cooperation

Putin dismisses G7 criticism as  'babbling', calls for cooperation Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) exchange documents during a signing ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 8. -AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday dismissed criticism by the Group of 7 nations as "creative babbling" and said it was time to start cooperating again.

"I believe it's necessary to stop this creative babbling and shift to concrete issues related to real cooperation," Putin told reporters in the Chinese city of Qingdao, when asked to comment on a G7 joint statement. He also said the G7 countries had "again" failed to provide any evidence that Russia was behind the poisoning of a former double agent and his daughter in Britain in March.

G7 leaders demanded Saturday that Russia stop what they described as attempts to undermine democracy and support for the Syrian regime as they closed the door on Moscow's readmission to the club.

The G7 endorsed Britain's accusation that Moscow was behind the poisoning attack in the southwest of England on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"We share and agree with the United Kingdom's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack, and that there is no plausible alternative explanation," the G7 statement said. As in the past, Putin took issue with the phrase "highly likely", saying that G7 nations' solidarity was based on "flimsy ground."

----AFP, Qingdao

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