Russian President Vladimir Putin’s old East German secret police identity card has been found in the archives in Dresden where he served as a KGB officer in the 1980s, German media reported.
The Bild newspaper on December 11 published a photo of the ID for Major Vladimir Putin, signed and validated with stamps until the end of 1989.
The document was found among the files on “cadres and education” in the archives of East Germany’s State Security Service, known as the Stasi.
The ID would have enabled Putin to enter and leave Stasi offices unhindered and easily pass through security checkpoints of the Stasi police force, said Konrad Felber, who heads the Dresden branch of the authority overseeing the Stasi archives.
Felber added that it would have made recruiting agents easier because Putin wouldn’t have had to mention his KGB affiliation.
Felber said the ID "does not automatically mean that Putin directly worked for the Stasi.”
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it could have been possible for Putin to have had a Stasi ID.
"The KGB and the Stasi were partner services. Therefore, it's impossible to exclude such an exchange of credentials," Peskov said in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.
Putin arrived in Dresden in communist East Germany in the mid-1980s on his first foreign posting for the KGB.
He spent five years in the city, where he lived with his then-wife, Lyudmila Putina.
The couple’s second child was born in Dresden in 1986.