Vladimir Putin isn’t named in the Panama Papers, a huge cache of documents linking politicians, sports stars, actors, and business people to offshore tax havens, but his associates are—especially Sergei Roldugin, Putin’s close friend, who was linked to a number of suspicious accounts worth billions of dollars.
Speaking in a press conference today, Putin denied any ”element of corruption” linked to Russia.
“There is a certain friend of the president, he did such and such a thing, and there is probably a corruption element there, but there isn’t any,” the Russian president added.
Instead, he said, the leak is part of a plan to destabilize Russia. Those behind the leak ”are worried by the unity of the Russian nation… and that is why they are attempting to rock us from within, to make us more obedient,” Putin said.
When the Panama Papers emerged this weekend, a Kremlin aide—whose own wife was implicated by the leak—called the revelations “Putinphobia.”