MOSCOW (AP) — The intense attention being given to the new U.S. attorney general’s meetings with Russia’s ambassador could obstruct improved Washington-Moscow relations, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters he did not know about the meetings last year between Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Jeff Sessions, who at that time was a U.S. senator. Sessions also was a policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

News of the two meetings has added fuel to the controversy over whether Russia was improperly involved with Trump’s campaign. It spurred calls in Congress for Sessions to recuse himself from an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

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