Written by Staff Writer
26 Jan, 2016 | 5:56 am
The US Treasury has told BBC that it considers Russian President Vladimir Putin to be corrupt .
The US government has already imposed sanctions on Mr Putin’s aides, but it is thought to be the first time it has directly accused him of corruption.
Last week a UK public inquiry said Mr Putin had “probably” approved the murder of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Litvinenko, a former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agent and fierce critic of Mr Putin, was poisoned in London with radioactive polonium in 2006.
The US government imposed sanctions against a number of Kremlin insiders in 2014 and stated that Vladimir Putin had secret investments in the energy sector. However, the Americans did not directly accuse him of corruption at the time.
The sanctions – later expanded to include more individuals and organisations – coincided with similar EU measures against Russia. The trigger for them was Russia’s annexation of Crimea, during political turmoil in Ukraine.
Mr Szubin, who oversees US Treasury sanctions would not comment on a secret CIA report from 2007 that put Mr Putin’s wealth at around $40bn (£28bn). But he said the Russian president had been amassing secret wealth.
“He supposedly draws a state salary of something like $110,000 a year. That is not an accurate statement of the man’s wealth, and he has long time training and practices in terms of how to mask his actual wealth.”
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