Putin: Panama Papers is an effort by U.S to destabilise Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. government of attempting to destabilize Russia with Panama allegations against his cabinet member.
Speaking at the All-Russia People’s Front media forum in St. Petersburg, Mr. Putin said articles published by news agencies around the world earlier this week constitute 
 “one more attempt to destabilize the internal situation [and] make us more accommodating,” Russian news agencies Interfax and Tass reported.

           “Our opponents are above all concerned by the unity and consolidation of the                          Russian nation. They are attempting to rock us from within, to make us more pliant,” He said.
 Papers reporting so far is renowned cellist Sergei Pavlovich Roldugin — a long-time friend of the Russian president and godfather to one of Mr. Putin’s daughters.
“Many creative professionals in Russia — probably half of them — are trying to do business and, to my knowledge, Sergei Pavlovich has been trying, too,”  He is a minority shareholder in one of our companies, and he is making some money but definitely not billions of dollars. Nonsense, there is nothing of the sort.” - Putin
Referencing recent remarks made by WikiLeaks, the whistleblower group, Mr. Putin went on to suggest that the U.S. government is spearheading the Panama Papers reports.
“When officials from the U.S. State Department or the White House announce certain ridiculous things, it means that they’re designating themselves as a stakeholder,” Mr. Putin said. He said that Russia welcomes this, however, “because [then] we know who ordered the whole thing.”
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks said in a tweet that included among the dozens of media organizations involved in the Panama Papers reporting is the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), “which targets Russia & former USSR and was funded by USAID and [George] Soros,” the Hungarian-American philanthropist known for bank-rolling liberal efforts.
“WikiLeaks has showed us that official people and official organs of the U.S. are behind this,” Mr. Putin said on Thursday.
Their alleged efforts, he added, aimed to weaken Russia “by infusing some mistrust in society toward government bodies and the government, and by setting people against each other.”
The Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation — two pro-democracy groups started by Mr. Soros — were labeled as “undesirable” by the Kremlin last year and are no longer allowed to operate within Russia on account of allegedly posing a threat to the country’s national security and public order.
Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, claimed earlier this week that “former representatives of the [U.S.] State Department and the CIA,” are involved in the Panama Papers reporting; and Victor Zvagelsky, a lawmaker in the State Duma, has separately threatened to file a libel lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta, a liberal newspaper in Russia that has reported on the leaks this week with the help of the OCCRP.
Artyom Kiryanov, a member of Russia’s public chamber, asked the federal tax service on Thursday to investigate whether the newspaper received foreign funding through OCCRP, The Guardian reported.
OCCRP founder Drew Sullivan told The Guardian that his group has “never given a penny to Novaya Gazeta, nor would they take it if we offered.”
In addition to funding from USAID and Mr. Soros, the OCCRP also receives financial support courtesy of the United Nations Democracy Fund and the Center for Public Integrity, as well as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — the group responsible for managing the Panama Paper documents.
“Claims that #PanamaPapers themselves are a ‘plot’ against Russia are nonsense. However hoarding, DC organization & USAID money tilt coverage,” WikiLeaks clarified in a later tweet.
source: washingtontimes

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