Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first comments on the investigation of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, calling it “nonsense”, Dozhd reported.
“The publication of the ‘Panama Papers’ is an attempt to destabilize the situation in the country,” Putin stated. “The easiest way to do this is to motivate people to distrust the authorities.”
The International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) recently published a report highlighting the ways in which wealthy individuals, including public officials, hide their money from public scrutiny. The leaders of five countries - Russia, Ukraine, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – were directly implicated in the investigation, and the associates of 40 other world leaders were also mentioned in the report.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed the allegations as the result of “Putinophobia” and said that ICIJ includes “many former state department and CIA employees, as well as those of other intelligence services”.
“There is no information concerning the president – just some insinuations, speculations, reflections that do not require a response. As for the main body, it does not concern us, it has no relation to the president whatsoever,” Peshkov summed.