US official accusations against Putin refuted by Kremlin
| Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 13:36
Moscow: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday termed as "groundless" recent accusations by a US official that Russian President Vladimir Putin was corrupt.
Earlier British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) published an article and video featuring US Department of Treasury (DoT) official Adam Szubin, who said that Putin was corrupt.
"We've seen him enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalising those who he doesn't view as friends using state assets.
"Whether that's Russia's energy wealth, whether it's other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don't. To me, that is a picture of corruption," BBC quoted Szub, who "oversees US Treasury sanctions," as saying.
In response, accusing the BBC report as another media hoax, Peskov expressed great surprise that the "unfounded slander" was given by a US official.
"This makes the situation different, this is an official accusation," Peskov said, adding that "content of this BBC report is pure speculation and defamation."
(Also read: Putin 'probably' approved ex-Russian spy murder )
"Proof is needed because the voicing of such accusations from a department like the US Treasury without any concrete facts casts doubt on the department itself," RIA Novosti news agency quoted Peskov as saying.
According to Peskov, the new comments were unlikely to negatively affect US-Russia relations as the bilateral ties are currently "not in their best shape."
"To the extent that such deceitful comments are unlikely to complicate the situation even more," Peskov said.
The US-Russia relations has serious deteriorated over the two-year-old Ukrainian crisis, while both sides also disagreed about various international key issues including Syrian crisis and anti-terrorism fight.