Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has defended his daughter's internship with a lawmaker at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels after an RFE/RL report revealing that she works there prompted concerns among lawmakers.
"We are talking about an ordinary student and an ordinary internship," Peskov, who has been President Vladimir Putin's main spokesman for many years, told journalists on February 26.
Yelizaveta Peskova, 21, serves as a trainee with Aymeric Chauprade, a French member of the European Parliament (MEP) who has publicly supported Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, RFE/RL reported a day earlier.
Peskova’s name appears on Chauprade’s official European Parliament webpage and Chauprade confirmed to RFE/RL that she is part of his team.
"This is about my daughter. It is not about my duties and my job," Peskov said when asked about the issue in a daily briefing with reporters.
Several European Parliament members contacted by RFE/RL earlier said they were unaware that a relative of a high-level Russian official was working among them.
Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete called it a "breach of general security rules of the European Parliament.”
Lithuanian MEP Petras Austrevicius said it cast “very big shame on the face of the European Parliament.”
State-run Russian news agency TASS cited Chauprade as saying that Peskova and other interns do not have access to confidential documents.
Chauprade said Peskova receives what he said was the standard intern’s pay of 1,000 euros ($1,135) per month, TASS reported.
He rejected the criticism of his colleagues at the European Parliament as “conspiratorial Russophobia.”