Revelations by WikiLeaks that Russia is considered in some circles to be a virtual “mafia state” have added new strains to relations between Moscow and western countries.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has played down the impact of the leaks, which suggest diplomats appear convinced the Kremlin works hand in hand with organised crime.
They also portray a corrupt state centred around Putin’s leadership.
“Some experts think that someone is trying to inflate the image of WikiLeaks, to give this internet site more importance in order to use it later for political purposes,” said Putin.
“And if that’s not the case,” he added, “then I believe that diplomatic services should pay more attention to their documents. We’ve seen leaks like this in the past, I see no catastrophe in all that.”
So can the picture of a corrupt system, driven by greed and oil money from top to bottom, harm Russia?
“It’s pretty hard to damage the Russian image in the world because it’s already not very good and this new information doesn’t add anything,” said Nikolay Petrov, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Centre.
Putin has denied diplomats’ claims that he’s amassed a vast fortune.
The revelations also add to the pressure on Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian premier is accused of being in thrall to his Russian counterpart, with diplomats suspecting he may have taken a cut from energy deals with Moscow.
- 1Tsipras says if Greeks approve the EU’s aid plan, Syriza will resign
- 2Eurogroup ministers to discuss new Greece aid proposal
- 3Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 4The end of the road for Uber? Executives detained by French police
- 5Miss Universe turns ugly for Trump as US TV network cut ties with presidential candidate
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 6Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 7Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 8NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 9Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 10Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 13Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 14Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 15Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 16Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 17Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 18Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 19Greek banks, stock exchange will not open on Monday, Tsipras announces
- 20Hungary: billboard war sparks international concern
Wires > News
- 02:28 CET U.S. names new envoy for bid to close Guantanamo prison
- 02:03 CET Hong Kong expects large pro-democracy rally as it marks 1997…
- 23:19 CET Taiwan youth to China – Treat us like a country
- 22:42 CET Islamic State threatens to topple Hamas in Gaza
- 21:34 CET Legislation enacting Irish gay marriage vote delayed
- 21:15 CET Around 1,200 escape from Yemen prison, including al Qaeda suspects
- 21:07 CET Fearing euro exit, thousands of Greeks rally for ‘Yes’ vote
- 20:50 CET U.S., Iran presidents issue warnings as nuclear talks extended