The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed comments by a US Treasury official to the BBC alleging massive corruption by President Vladimir Putin, challenging Washington to provide proof for what amounted to an "official accusation".
In the BBC Panorama program that aired Monday evening, Adam Szubin, acting under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury said Putin was a "picture of corruption".
"Concerning the BBC show, this would just be another example of typical irresponsible journalism if it weren't for the comment by a US Treasury official," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"Here the situation is different. This is an official accusation," Peskov said.
"First of all this shows clearly who pulls the strings. Secondly, it requires proof," Peskov said.
"The airing of such accusations from such an institution as the US Treasury without concrete proof to back them up casts a shadow on this institution."
Asked if the show's claim could affect relations with the US, Peskov said that relations were "now not in the best shape and therefore such a lie can hardly make them worse."
Peskov earlier told the BBC the claims were "pure fiction."