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Kremlin Refutes Media Allegations of Ties Between Putin and Timchenko

Two prominent US and UK media outlets addressed the Russian presidential press service with almost identical requests for comments about business ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and businessman Gennady Timchenko, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The claims that there are close business ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and businessman Gennady Timchenko have nothing to do with reality, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.
According to Peskov, two prominent US and UK media outlets addressed the Russian presidential press service with almost identical requests for comments. Part of the questions were related to Putin's relations with Timchenko, co-founder of the trading house Gunvor.
According to Peskov, the media inquiries included demands to clarify if Putin provided Timchenko with financial assistance and whether the Gunvor Group had direct or indirect connection to the Russian president.
There is also the question of whether Timchenko provided his private jet to fly the former mayor of Saint Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, to France in 1996
"Of course, all these pieces of information have nothing to do with reality," Peskov said.
The only question that, according to Peskov, is connected to reality, at least, in part, is the one about the private jet.
"It is true, in 1996 Sobchak was taken from St. Petersburg to Paris on a private charter flight. But this was not Timchenko's jet. Timcheno helped charter a special cardiac reanimation," Peskov said, referring to Sobchak's heart condition.
The Kremlin spokesman noted that in these media inquiries the slander is so obvious that it is impossible to take seriously. "This will do more harm to the reputation of the media itself if published," Peskov said.
He said that Moscow values the professionalism of Western media and it is disheartened that some would resort to this sort of smear. He added that Moscow would not look for the coordinator of the two inquires.