Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-term spokesman on Tuesday defended his daughter’s internship with a French lawmaker in the European Parliament, saying it was nothing unusual and had “nothing to do” with his job.
“This is about an ordinary student and a normal internship,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in a daily briefing.
“It has nothing to do with my duties and my work,” he added.
His 21-year-old daughter Yelizaveta Peskova is working as a paid intern with French deputy Aymeric Chauprade, who is on the EU Parliament’s security and defense sub-committee.
Her father has served as Putin’s spokesman since 2000.
Chauprade told AFP Tuesday that Peskova, who is studying law in France, had no access to confidential documents.
“Yelizaveta, daughter of Dmitry Peskov, (President Vladimir) Putin’s spokesman, began her internship in November 2018” and will leave in late April when Chauprade’s term ends as well, he told AFP.
He said Peskova is paid 1,000 euros ($1,135) a month.
She cannot attend closed-door debates nor participate in the work of an EU/Russia delegation that Chauprade belongs to, the French MEP said.
Chauprade was elected to parliament on the far-right National Front ticket with Marine Le Pen in 2014, but has since fallen out with her party and considers himself to be independent.
He was an observer during Moscow’s rushed 2014 referendum on a Crimea annexation, which is not recognized internationally, and told AFP: “I have never hidden that I consider Crimea to be historically Russian.”
Peskova is a prolific social media user whose Instagram account posting glamourous selfies with Russian stars and officials has more than 78,000 followers.
She raised eyebrows last year with photos of a trip to Chechnya at the invitation of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, calling him a “dear brother.”