Putin denies links to offshore accounts in Panama Papers

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies having any links to offshore accounts and describes the Panama Papers document leaks scandal as part of Western efforts to weaken Russia.

Putin, speaking Thursday at a media forum in St. Petersburg, says even though his name didn’t figure in any of the documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm, Western media pushed the claims of his involvement in offshore businesses.

Putin described the allegations as part of the US-led disinformation campaign waged against Russia in order to weaken its government.

Putin said his longtime friend, cellist Sergei Roldugin, who figured in the Panama Papers as the owner of $2 billion in offshore assets, has done nothing wrong. He said he was proud of Roldugin, adding that the musician spent his personal money to advance cultural projects in Russia.

— AP

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