Dmitry Peskov called untrue reports that French presidential candidate Francois Fillon organized a meeting for Lebanese billionaire Fouad Makhzoumi and Total CEO Patrick Puyanne with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a fee. Interfax reported on this.
Earlier, the media wrote that Fouad Makhzoumi, a Lebanese businessman, paid Francois Fillon $50 thousand for organizing a meeting with Putin and the CEO of French oil giant Total.
"We saw these media reports. To be honest, they remind us of another fake, what we call in English fake news," he said.
"As for the president's meetings, they are organized according to the President's protocol, and the role of any intermediaries here is also ruled out," the press secretary added.
Speaking about Total, the presidential press secretary said that the company has been working in Russia for a long time, and that Russian President Putin maintains business relations with its leadership.
"A company that is present in our market clearly does not need any intermediaries to organize a meeting with the president, so it is rather absurd to say that someone has organized them," Peskov emphasized in this regard.
As for the Lebanese billionaire Makhzoumi, according to Peskov, at the St. Petersburg International Forum, where this meeting was held according to media reports, Putin "talks on his feet" and on the sidelines communicates and photographs with a large number of businessmen.
"This absolutely does not require any mediation, and it all goes absolutely, as they say,’ on one’s feet’ and ‘on the run’," he said.