‘It would be improper’: Kremlin refuses to name owner of ‘Putin’s Palace’ after Russian president denies it belongs to him
The Kremlin has rejected requests to reveal the true owner of a large estate dubbed 'Putin's Palace,' which was the subject of a YouTube video last week by Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
In the two-hour-long film, which now has over 91 million views, Navalny alleges that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a large estate near the Black Sea town of Gelendzhik, 200 kilometers north of Sochi.
In a Monday conference call, Putin denied that the mansion is owned by him or his "close relatives." However, according to the anti-corruption activist, the property is legally in the name of close Putin allies and not the president himself.
Speaking to the press, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "the owners are entrepreneurs."
"Indeed, this is a large building, and it is well known in Gelendzhik. One or several people own it, directly or indirectly," Peskov explained. "But, you probably agree that the Kremlin has no right to disclose the names of these owners … it would be improper."
Any other questions about the property should be directed to the relevant authorities, he said.
"The President answered the question. He answered completely unambiguously," Peskov concluded. "If there are other questions, then indeed, the departments responsible will probably provide information one way or another."
The press secretary also said that he had no information on whether Putin had ever visited the estate.
The video released by the opposition figure was published on YouTube on January 19. Navalny alleged that the house includes a casino, a theater and a swimming pool, amongst other amenities. As well as the video, he published a website with artists' impressions of the house.
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