SOCHI, Russia, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's press spokesman, is facing a media scandal in Russia after wedding photographs circulated on social media, which show him kissing his new bride, Tatiana Navka, while wearing an exorbitantly priced wristwatch.
The estimated cost of the watch is $600,000, several times more than his official salary.
Alexey Nalvany, the opposition leader, began retweeting images of the photo of Peskov kissing Navka at the ceremony in Sochi with an enlarged image of the rare watch. The Richard Mille RM 52-01 "Skull" watch which Peskov was wearing is so unusual that fewer than three dozen are said to have been made, CNN reported.
"The watch of the newly-wed Peskov costs more than your apartment. The happy group has been working for the State since 1989, and couldn't earn so many millions legally," Nalvany wrote on his online blog.
Peskov, meanwhile, argued that the wedding gift was from his wife, a former Olympic skater, as reported by TASS. The wedding ceremony was held on August 1 at the Rodina, one of Russia's most luxurious hotels, owned by billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
"I was not a newsmaker last weekend. To tell you honestly, I was celebrating our wedding. I would've preferred to have it all without any media gossip," Peskov told TASS. "Wives' gifts to husbands and husbands' gifts to wives can hardly have anything to do with anti-corruption activity," he added.
In an interview with the Russian-language version of Tatler magazine, Navka confirmed she gave the Kremlin spokesman the watch as a gift.
"I am an Olympic champion, I work hard, including all summer long. I earn money myself, so I can afford to give a good present," Navka told the magazine.
"Before the wedding, I had a question about what to give to my loved-man and I decided to buy this beautiful watch," added Navka.