Obama and Putin.
(photo credit: REUTERS,JPOST STAFF)
A US Treasury official's assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin is corrupt "best reflects the administration's view," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a daily briefing on Thursday.
Earlier this week, the BBC reported that Adam Szubin, acting Treasury secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in an interview the United States considers Putin corrupt.
The US administration has imposed sanctions on Putin's aides, although the this is the first instance of corruption accusations by the president directly. Putin's spokesman told the BBC that "there is nothing to respond to questions or issues like this because they obviously fictional."
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Pskov, commented at a press conference that "this is a formal accusation" and demanded evidence. However, Pskov added that "the relationship between us [the US and Russia] at the moment is not at its best, and in this situation a lie could deteriorate it even further."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also commented and said that his country wants to restart its relations with the United States.