A number of people close to the Russian leader were named in the data leak, but the Kremlin is supporting Putin amid claims of his involvement
The Kremlin and one of the key figures in a leading bank in Russia have backed Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of claims that a number of people in his inner-circle were linked to the Panama Papers.
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has stated that the "insinuations" in the Panama Papers do not require any response from the Kremlin.
Peskov told journalists that the leak was another example of a so called "Putinophobia", which "has reached a point where to speak well about Russia, or about some of its actions and successes is impossible. One needs to speak [about Russia] in negative terms, the more the better, and when there's nothing to say, you need to make things up."
He added that the leak was aimed at trying to discredit Putin in advance of elections in Russia.
"Putin does not appear anywhere backed by any facts," added Peskov. "It is obvious to us that the main target behind such 'leaks' has been and still is our president, especially in the context of the upcoming parliamentary and [...] the presidential election in two years' time".
CEO of the VTB Group, one of Russia's leading state-owned banks, has stated that the claims about Vladimir Putin in the so-called 'Panama Papers' are not based on any facts.
"Nobody has said that Mr. Putin was involved, because there is not his name registered anywhere. People say that some people who know Mr. Putin have certain offshore business. Why? What's wrong about this? First of all, Russia has no offshore zones [...] we have nothing to do with offshore business as a country".
He added that the implication that Mr. Putin's daughter, Katerina, was involved was also unfounded, stating "his daughter was celebrating a wedding in the Igora ski resort, which is actually not expensive and used for weddings every week [...] I don't know how it can relate Putin to any offshore businesses".