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Kremlin calls claims of US sanctions against Vladimir Putin 'absurd'

Moscow: A Kremlin spokesman on Sunday dismissed as "absurd" claims that Washington could target President Vladimir Putin directly if it imposes further sanctions against Russia.

Quoting anonymous sources, The Times said in an article published on Friday that the United States was looking at imposing sanctions on Putin, who is estimated to hold some $40 billion in Swiss accounts.

But Putin's spokesman rubbished the claim.

"That's obviously a hoax, an absurd one," Dmitry Peskov told Moscow's Echo radio station.

When pressed by the journalist if that meant Putin had "nothing to fear", Peskov replied: "In any case, not from the Times newspaper. Why should he be afraid of sanctions, especially such absurd ones? We can only laugh at such absurd sanctions."

According to the Times report, Washington could seek Swiss support in the action.

The United States has already imposed sanctions targeting Putin's inner circle, but it has threatened wider action if no progress is made on implementing a deal reached last week in Geneva with Kiev, Moscow and Brussels on easing the crisis in Ukraine.

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