The Latest: Putin wants more evidence on Saudi writer’s fate



<pThe Latest on RussiaSaudi Arabia.

<pTurkish officials have said Khashoggi was brutally killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, which Saudi officials have denied.

<pSpeaking Thursday at an international policy forum, Putin said: "Those who believe that there was a murder must present evidence."

<pHe added that "the disappearance was a tragedy, but we need to understand what happened" before deciding what impact it may have on Russia's relations with Saudi Arabia.

<pPutin alleged "the U.S. bears a certain responsibility" for what happened to Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who went into self-imposed exile in the U.S.


<p4:55 p.m.

<pRussian President Vladimir Putin is hailing Turkey's efforts to set up a demilitarized zone in Syria's northern province of Idlib.

<pPutin said Thursday that even though the Oct. 15 deadline for the withdrawal of Syrian radical groups and heavy weapons from the zone hasn't been fully met, Russia sees that Turkey is doing its best to accomplish the task.

<pThe Turkey-Russia deal reached last month calls for the removal of all members of Syrian radical groups and heavy weapons from the 15-20-kilometer (9-12 mile) deep demilitarized zone in Idlib.

<pHe said that "Turkish partners are doing all they can to fulfill their obligations." He added that Turkey has been acting "in a tough and efficient way" to enforce the deal.


<p4:40 p.m.

<pRussian President Vladimir Putin says he believes that President Donald Trump would like to improve relations with Russia.

<pPutin said Trump aims at "some sort of stabilization and improvement of U.S.-Russian ties," adding that Moscow is ready for that "at any moment."

<pThe Russian leader pointed at political infighting between the Democrats and the Republicans, saying it blocked any possible effort by Trump to repair the fractured ties with Russia.

<pSpeaking at a forum of international policy experts in Sochi on Thursday, Putin said his meeting with Trump in Helsinki in July was positive even though Trump's opponents sought to use it in the political infighting. He said he and Trump had a good discussion despite policy differences.


<p4:25 p.m.

<pPresident Vladimir Putin says Russia would only use its nuclear weapons in response to an incoming missile attack.

<pPutin said Thursday Russia's military doctrine doesn't envisage a preventative nuclear strike. He noted that Russia would only launch a nuclear strike if its early warning systems spot missiles heading toward its territory, adding that "the aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable."

<pSpeaking at a policy forum, Putin that "when we see a coming strike on the territory of Russia, we will retaliate." He acknowledged it will mean a global catastrophe, but emphasized that "we can't be those who initiated it."

<p"We would be victims of aggression and would get to Heavens as martyrs," while those who would launch the strike would "just die and not even have time to repent."