Immediately after Russia’s special services became aware of the contacts, the Russian leader asked for clarification from the then U.S. president who promised to deal with this problem.

"And ten days later my subordinates, the leaders of the FSB, received a letter from their colleagues in Washington reading: "We have supported and will continue maintaining relationships with all opposition forces of Russia. And we think we have the right to do this, and will do so in the future," Putin said.