U.S. Treasury official Adam Szubin has created controversy by claiming the US government considers Russian President Vladimir Putin to be corrupt and that it has known this for “many, many years.”
Mr Szubin, who is acting Treasury secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that the Russian president has been amassing secret wealth.
“We’ve seen him enriching his friends, his close allies and marginalizing those who he doesn’t view as friends using state assets. Whether that’s Russia’s energy wealth, whether it’s other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don’t. “To me, that is a picture of corruption,” Szubin told the BBC.
The Kremlin has responded by rubbishing the claims and calling on Mr Szubin and the US Treasury to come up with proof of its claims. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the allegation was an “official accusation” and a “total fabrication”.