Kremlin denies getting Navalny letter with allegations about Bastrykin

The Kremlin has denied receiving a supposed letter to President Vladimir Putin from anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny with allegations that Russia's chief criminal investigator, Alexander Bastrykin, used to have business interests and residency in the Czech Republic.

However, if such a letter does arrive, the allegations will be investigated by the Prosecutor general's Office, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Saturday.

"Citizen Navalny claims through the Internet that he has sent an appeal to Putin. The presidential administration has not received this appeal about Bastrykin - I've just checked, it hasn't arrived," Peskov said.

The spokesman said it was a typical situation where "many applicants prefer to inform the media first and only afterward send off the material." He said there is an appeal-processing division in the presidential administration and that that department was the official recipient of letters of this kind.

"At the same time, the division has a written appeal from Navalny that was received earlier with effectively similar requests about Bastrykin to the president of the country, which contains references to Novaya Gazeta and members of staff of Novaya Gazeta," Peskov said.

In compliance with the law, this appeal would be forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office as would the other appeal if it arrived, he said.

Going back to the issue of Navalny's alleged letter about Bastrykin's supposed business and residency in the Czech Republic, Peskov said: "We don't have any such appeal, and we have no intention to speak to citizens through the Internet and in Internet language, and we won't do this either. If he'd at least sent it to our website it would have been possible, but writing in some social network, where information is of dubious quality anyway, and alleging that he had sent something to the president - this, of course, isn't something that we can take seriously, and it's in no way a call to action for us."

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