Putin: Panama Papers financial data leak had US sponsors

The massive Panama Papers financial data leak had US sponsors, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"Who is behind such provocations? We known that they are employees of official US institutions," Putin said during an annual, nationally televised show in which he answers questions from the Russian public.

Media reports earlier this month revealed the leak from a Panama-based law firm that specializes in ways to store cash in the tax haven.

Reports alleged that reputed members of Putin's inner circle used secret offshore deals to hide fortunes made possible through his patronage.

Putin said in his call-in show that the first report on the leak appeared in the Munich-based daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, "which is part of a media holding owned by the US financial corporation Goldman Sachs."

"The sponsors' ears are sticking out everywhere, but they do not even blush," Putin said, adding that "as the elections approach, there will be more of these shams."

The US presidential election takes place later this year, as do Russian elections for the national parliament.

The Panama Papers "serve only to muddy the waters," Putin said. "They do not specifically incriminate anyone."

Putin was not directly named in the leak, from the law firm Mossack Fonseca.

A day after the media reports revealed the leak, a top Russian anti-corruption official, Irina Yarovaya, denounced the reports as "attacks" on the Russian leadership.

Yarovaya, who heads the anti-corruption committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, also said such attacks will increase as the elections approach.

Last update: Thu, 14/04/2016 - 18:54
Author: 

More from Europe

Parliament backs Brexit timetable after May's concession on plan

British lawmakers backed Prime Minister Theresa May's timetable for Brexit negotiations by a large majority late...

Renzi quits as prime minister, leaving Italy in political quagmire

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil Wednesday, as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after complying...

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's integrity, says Croatian FM

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and the European Union's sanctions against Russia will remain...

Three detained in France for connection to police killings

Three men have been detained in France for their suspected links to Larossi Abballa, the extremist who killed two...

Political veteran Doris Leuthard elected Swiss president for 2017

Centre-right politician Doris Leuthard will serve as Swiss president next year, the parliament decided Wednesday in...