Vladimir Putin ridicules claims of Russian meddling in US presidential vote

"India is one of the fastest growing economies and is undertaking reforms at a rapid pace".

Underlining the time-tested strategic dimension of the India Russia relationship, the Prime Minister mentioned the forthcoming first Tri-services exercise - INDRA 2017, between the two countries.

President Vladimir Putin on Friday ridiculed allegations of Russian meddling in United States elections, accusing the Democrats of trying to shift blame for their defeat and likening the accusations against Russia to anti-Semitism.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Prime Minister Modi said, "The eyes of the world are on Asia and there is renewed interest in India".

The annual event was held at the sprawling conference center on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Russia's secondlargest city and Putin's hometown.

Putin repeated calls for bolstering the country's business climate and cleaning up the judiciary, but critics say the Kremlin leader has failed to make good in the past on pledges to make serious changes.

At a meeting with United States business leaders earlier Putin urged them to help Moscow establish a dialogue with Trump, as ties remains deadlocked amid probes into possible collusion.

The Kremlin leader said that "in my view it was possible (for the US) not to leave the Paris agreement because it is a framework deal, and it was possible to change the U.S. obligations inside the framework of these agreements".

"But it turned out that he was right", Putin said.

He compared repeated USA assertions that Moscow deliberately tried to undermine Clinton to "anti-Semitism" and said it was like "blaming the Jews".

Nicaragua did not think the agreement went far enough, while Syria is in the midst of a civil war.

His speech earlier, however, was nearly entirely devoted to attracting foreign investment.

Pitching India as a favourable investment destination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the Russian business fraternity to explore the huge opportunities in the field of defence, services sector and manufacturing healthcare equipments.

"Fifty cities need metros, 500 cities need solid waste management and drinking water".

India and Russian Federation signed five agreements in sectors covering nuclear energy, railways, gems and jewellery, traditional knowledge and cultural exchanges. "It's just hysteria. Should I give you a pill?" A nation of 1.2 billion people invites the world.

He said this only showed that the world was interdependent and inter-connected.

He said that in the last three years since he came to power, India has attracted $160 billion of foreign investment including $60 billion, the highest ever, in the last financial year.

While Mr Trump sparked dismay among many by withdrawing from the agreement to cut greenhouse gases, the Russian President said he did not "judge" his counterpart in Washington. "So countries may have some disputes and some areas of collaboration", he said, noting that India and Russian Federation relationship has stood the test of time as it was based on trust.

He added that in an era of globalisation, "we should help each other as much as we can".