KEY POINTS

  • Putin claims Hunter "did nothing criminal" following Trump's accusations
  • The Russian president said the younger Biden made "good money" from dealings with Ukrainian businesses
  • Putin also denied having any knowledge of an incident cited in a report by Senate Republicans

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday spoke in defense of Hunter Biden after U.S. President Donald Trump accused him of engaging in business  with Ukraine. 

In a broadcast on Russian state TV, Putin responded to Trump's comments during the second presidential debate and said he "does not see anything criminal" about Hunter's dealings with Ukrainian companies, Reuters reported. 

"Yes, in Ukraine he (Hunter Biden) had or maybe still has a business, I don't know. It doesn't concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians," Putin said.

"But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don't see anything criminal about this, at least we don't know anything about this being criminal," he added. 

Putin also appeared visibly annoyed after being asked to comment about Trump's claims that Hunter received payment from the widow of Moscow's former mayor. Putin denied any knowledge of the incident, The Independent reported.

Trump's allegations came after a partisan investigation led by Senate GOPs alleged that a Russian businesswoman named Yelena Baturina sent $3.5 million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton in 2014 as a payment to a "consultancy agreement." She later was identified as the former mayor's widow. 

According to The Washington Post, Hunter Biden was the co-founder and CEO of an investment firm called Rosemont Seneca Advisors. It is unclear whether this firm is tied to Rosemont Seneca Thornton. 

Hunter Biden's lawyer George Mesires said the Senate's allegations were false. He also dismissed claims that the Biden son co-founded the company in question. 

"The Senate report falsely alleges that Hunter Biden had a financial relationship with Russian business executive Yelena Baturina and that he received $3.5 million from Baturina," Mesires said in an email. 

"Hunter Biden had no interest in and was not a 'co-founder' of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, so the claim that he was paid $3.5 million is false," he continued.

Trump, who is trailing behind Biden in national polls, has used previous presidential debates to accuse the Biden family of engaging in unethical business practices with Ukrainian firms. However, no evidence has been verified to support claims of Hunter engaging in corrupt business practices. Democratic challenger Joe Biden also dismissed the president's claims as being part of a disinformation campaign.  Six senior Russian officials, including the head of Russia's FSB domestic spy agency and the tycoon nicknamed "Putin's chef," will be banned from traveling to the bloc and have their assets in the European Union frozen Six senior Russian officials including the head of Russia's FSB domestic spy agency and the tycoon nicknamed "Putin's chef" will be banned from travelling to the bloc and have their assets in the European Union frozen. Photo: Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin