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Russia's Putin Calls for Improved Anti-corruption Measures

  • Amanda Scott

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on counterwork against corruption at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Jan. 26, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on counterwork against corruption at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Jan. 26, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the country to improve its anti-corruption measures, just hours after a BBC documentary reported his estimated personal fortune at close to $40 billion.

In a meeting with his Cabinet Tuesday, Putin said the task of addressing corruption would be a great challenge.

"In general, there is a huge amount of work here," he said. "I think it's a difficult task, maybe even an elusive one. But if we stop [addressing the issue], it will get worse. We need to move only forward."

Meanwhile, a U.S. Treasury official told the BBC that Putin was "a picture of corruption."

In an interview with BBC's Panorama, Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department's Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said "we've seen [Putin] enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalizing those who he doesn't view as friends, using state assets."

"Whether that's Russia's energy wealth, whether it's other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don't," he said. "To me, that is a picture of corruption."

The program, which aired Monday evening, said Putin, who receives a state salary of around $100,00 a year, has amassed a personal fortune estimated at around $40 billion making him one of the richest men in the world.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the program as a "total fabrication" adding that the comments from the U.S. Treasury official could complicate relations with the United States.

"Our relationship is not in its best state at the moment. Such lies could further complicate things."

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