MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The Russian Presidential Administration demands that the United States Treasury provide evidence to support allegations of corruption against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"If they leave such official statements without evidence, it casts a shadow on the reputation of the department," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on a BBC documentary containing claims from US Treasury, in which its Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes Adam Szubin said that the Russian head of state was amassing personal wealth.
"This is not our task to demand evidence," Peskov said. "Now it is the task of this department to submit any evidence to show that the statements of their official representative are not an unfounded defamation."
Official comment from the US in the BBC film "shows who is at the conductor's desk", he added. "The content of this BBC report is pure speculation and defamation, which has no grounds."
"We’ve got used to media hoaxes either related to lack of qualifications, a rush toward gutter news or orchestrated campaigns," the spokesman said.
In the case of the BBC film, "everything would have looked like another example of patently irresponsible journalism but for the official comment presented in the film," he said, referring to the Treasury official’s claims.
"We would not like to link anything with anything. We just state that an official comment has been made by the US Treasury," Peskov said, adding that the Kremlin would not like to link these charges with a change in the White House administration after presidential elections at the end of the year.
"Deceitful comments" by the Treasury official would hardly aggravate relations between Moscow and Washington that are "currently not in their best shape", he added.
"To be honest, the relations are currently not in their best shape. To the extent that such deceitful comments are unlikely to complicate the situation even more," Peskov said.
Dmitry Peskov has also denied Western reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin owns a luxury yacht.
The Kremlin spokesman thus commented on an assertion made in a BBC film.
"I know that the president does not own a yacht. I know this," the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that he didn’t know about other details relating to this kind of property.
"I’m ascribed a deep knowledge of yachts but this is not so," the Kremlin spokesman said, referring to media reports last summer claiming he had spent his vacation aboard an expensive yacht.
Speaking generally about the owners of particular yachts, Peskov said: "these are absolutely public data, which can be checked simply."