MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The so-called Panama Papers regarding Russian banks are absolutely false, though the issue of de-offshorization itself directly relates to local lenders, which are committed to enhancing transparency in the sector, VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin said Thursday.
"The topic of the Panama Papers deserves attention as it directly related to the Russian banking sector. Russian banks advocate de-offshorization of financial operations as the less transparent banks are the more risks they assume," Kostin said. He added though that the Panama Papers, which "emerged as a journalistic investigation largely supported by foreign intelligence services," in no way helps in tackling offshore schemes. "As for Russian banks all [facts in the Panama Papers - TASS] are false and have nothing to do with the truth," Kostin said, adding that the Cyprus-based bank, which holds a stake in VTB, has never provided loans to concert cellist Sergey Roldugin who featured as a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kostin also said that he sees no risks for VTB Group related to this investigation’s publication.
"If the investigation was fair we see no risks. The given information is very limited and has been stolen from one source. The inspections in the Cypriot bank show that the bank’s operations were fully in line with the accepted practice," he said.