MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky has told reporters on Thursday that sexual harassment allegations against him are a paid campaign that actually boosted his standing.
When asked if he was ready to undergo a lie detector test, Slutsky noted that "lie detectors have a large margin of error, in this particular case we should agree that this paid campaign has run its course and died out."
The senior lawmaker rejected all allegations, saying that he "will look into" to going to court or not. "It is strange that no Ukrainian or American women have filed these sorts of charges," he said, commenting on accusations made by Georgian journalist Yekaterina Kotrikadze, the RTVI TV channel’s deputy chief editor. Slutsky also said that the incident appeared to have bolstered his authority instead of depriving him of it.
"Women have never complained about any inappropriate conduct on my part," he said. "I believe, the better we work the more such things will emerge. If no professional faults can be found, then things like this will be cooked up," he noted.
According to earlier reports, several female members of the parliamentary journalist pool, whose names were not made public, voiced accusations against Slutsky. After that, Kotrikadze openly accused him of sexual harassment. The website of journalist Ksenia Sobchak, a candidate running in the March presidential election, announced that she had asked the State Duma commission on ethics to investigate Slutsky’s conduct.