Putin's friend explains funds listed in the Panama Papers

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By Catherine Hardy  with RTR
Putin's friend explains funds listed in the Panama Papers
  • Russian cellist says his fortune is used for Russian cultural projects
  • Alleged to have 2bn USD in offshore accounts
  • Panama Papers an “attempt to destabilise Russia” – Putin

What is happening?

A friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, implicated in the Panama Papers outcry, has claimed in an interview that he invests all his money in music and young Russian cultural talent.

Cellist Sergei Roldugin says he wants to advance cultural projects in Russia.

It comes after his name appeared on the “Panama Papers” leak last week.

Roldugin says he is an honest man. “People around the world try not to declare what they have bought and imported. They do it for security reasons. I should not have declared things either. Doing so has cost me a lot of money.”

What are the Panama Papers?

  • 11.5 million confidential records from a law firm in Panama
  • Details of secretive financial accounts in low-tax havens used to conceal wealth
  • Rich, famous and world leaders implicated
  • Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigned after his name appeared on the list

What has the Russian President said?

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin denied having any links to offshore accounts.

His name does not feature in any of the leaked documents.

The documents reportedly allege that Putin’s associates have used a wide variety of offshore structures to move vast sums of money around the world.

Putin described the Panama Papers scandal as part of a US-led plot to weaken Russia.

Putin also defended Roldugin, saying his lifelong friend has done “nothing wrong”.

What they are saying