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The Kremlin has declined to say whether Vladimir Putin would grant an interview to Tucker Carlson, the far-right American journalist, after the former Fox News presenter was spotted in Moscow.

“We can hardly be expected to provide information on the movement of foreign journalists,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said when asked about speculation that Carlson was in Russia to interview the Russian president.

“Many foreign journalists come to Russia every day, many continue to work here, and we welcome this,” Peskov said. “We have nothing to announce in terms of the president’s interviews to foreign media.”

The Mash Telegram channel published a picture on Saturday of Carlson at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow attending the Spartacus ballet, creating rumours of an interview with Putin.

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