WASHINGTON — A Russian billionaire with ties to Vladimir Putin is suing The Associated Press for defamation over a story about his connections to a former Trump campaign chairman.

Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska filed a federal defamation and libel lawsuit Monday over the March 22 story about his business ties with Paul Manafort.

Deripaska says the article is inaccurate and hurt his career by falsely accusing him of criminal activity.

The AP’s general counsel, Karen Kaiser, says the news organization stands by its story and will defend itself.

The AP reported that before signing up with Donald Trump, Manafort secretly worked for Deripaska with a plan to “greatly benefit the Putin government.”

The story was based on interviews with people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP.