(From AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday acknowledged the accuracy of the Panama Papers revelations, but claimed funds had been spent on musical instruments as he blamed the leak on the United States.


The Papers revealed that Putin’s associates, notably cellist Sergei Roldugin, “secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies,” according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

During Putin’s annual phone-in with the nation, a male caller asked the president why he did not react to “slander in Western media and “unreliable information about offshores.”

Putin sighed, saying that “strange as it may seem, they are not publishing unreliable information about offshores. The information is accurate.”

“I get the impression it (the report) was put together not even by journalists but most likely by lawyers,” Putin said of the leaked information.

“They do not specifically accuse anyone of anything.”

The leaks “just serve to muddy the waters” by raising the possibility that “money from these offshores goes to some officials, including to the president,” Putin said.

Those who investigated the Panama papers were “wide of the mark,” he insisted. Read more

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