Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday once again rejected allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential elections.

Putin held a joint press conference with his American counterpart Donald Trump after their one-on-one meeting at the presidential palace in Finland’s Capital Helsinki. The leaders were accompanied only by their interpreters during their meeting, The Guardian reported.

“The Russian state has never interfered, and is never going to interfere” in external elections,” Putin said, adding that Trump had brought the matter up. He, however, acknowledged that he wanted Trump to win because “he spoke about normalising Russian relations”.

The Russian president said that while Moscow’s and US interests do not always dovetail, “the overlapping interests abound”. Putin, who spoke first, stressed that as nuclear powers the two countries have a “special responsibility” for international security. Moscow considers it necessary to work together on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation – and to avoid weapons being placed in space, he added.

Before the talks began, Trump told Putin: “I have been saying, and I am sure you have heard over the years...that getting along with Russia is a good thing not a bad thing.” The US president said they would talk about trade, the military, nuclear weapons and China.

Trump also congratulated Putin on a “really great [football] World Cup”, which concluded in Moscow on Sunday night.

“I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly – we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years,” Trump said. “I have been here not too long but it is getting close to two years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship.” The US president said the international community wants the two of them to get along.

Ahead of the summit at the presidential palace in Helsinki, the Russian Foreign Ministry “liked” Trump’s tweets denouncing the investigation into alleged meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US elections. The Foreign Ministry said it agreed with Trump’s criticism of the “stupid and foolish” policy of previous American governments on Russia.

“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump had tweeted.

Earlier in the day, the US president met his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto at the presidential palace.

The meeting between Trump and Putin came just days after a US grand jury charged 12 Russian “intelligence officers” with breaching the Democratic Party’s computer networks in an election hacking case. This is the latest development in an ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.