MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. A slander campaign against Russian President Vladimir Putin in media, first of all American, is aimed at discrediting the Russian authorities in the eyes of the country’s nationals, Kremlin administration chief Sergey Ivanov said in an interview with the RT channel.
"I am convinced that all slander statements to our address pursue the only goal: to make Russians believe that the Russian ruling circles are wrong. But I am absolutely convinced that this plan won’t work. That’s all," Ivanov said.
"In the past couple of years I have noted that the process of discrediting and blacklisting opponents has generally started in media. First and foremost, that refers to American and British newspapers, which I long treated with respect," he said, adding that the talk in their articles is most often about alleged corruptness of the Russian president’s entourage.
"The essence is that if there are some accusations personally against me, let them make them public: what is my corruptness, where are my huge revenues, where are my houses in the United States or Britain? Such things are easy to prove," the Russian presidential administration chief said.
"There are many people close to Putin. For example, my good friend, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, FSB [Federal Security Service] Director Alexander Bortnikov, current presidential national security adviser Nikolai Patrushev," he said.
"I can pledge my word for them - I have known them for many years, just like President Putin," Ivanov said. He said all accusations are as a rule voiced "in the absence of proof" and only on the basis [of the assumption] that "anyone who was born in St. Petersburg, served in the KGB and has now become close to Putin is guilty of corruption, unscrupulous."
The official said journalists who practice such an approach discredit themselves. "Such media can’t enjoy the respect of serious people who are able to analyze information," he said.
Ivanov did not rule out that one of the reasons why the anti-Putin campaign in media intensified was the Ukrainian crisis. "They are discontent with what is going on in Ukraine, although I will stress that it was not us who started it - we only reacted to what was started by the other side. Logic suggests that it is the cause," he said.