Panama Papers: Vladimir Putin Apologizes for Sueddeutsche Zeitung Remarks
Russian President Vladimir Putin has apologized for erroneously claiming that German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung was owned by Goldman Sachs.
Vladimir Putin made the remark in his annual televised question-and-answer session with the public on April 14.
It concerned who was responsible for the publication of the so-called Panama Papers, which were leaked to Sueddeutsche Zeitung and revealed massive international tax evasion.
In an apology issued by the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin said he was misinformed by aides.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “It is more the error of those who prepared the briefing documents, my error.”
“There was information there that had not been checked and rechecked again and we gave it to the president. We have apologized [to the bank] and we will also apologize to the publication.”
The Panama Papers, which contained the names of people allegedly involved in tax evasion schemes, revealed a number of offshore companies owned by close associates of Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin has denied “any element of corruption” over the schemes, saying his opponents are trying to destabilize Russia.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung shared the documents with a large group of newspapers and publishers.