President Vladimir Putin has denied “any element of corruption” over the Panama Papers leaks, and says his opponents are trying to destabilize Russia.

Mr. Putin was speaking for the first time since the leak of millions of confidential documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The papers name Mr. Putin’s long-time friend, Sergei Roldugin, as the owner of two offshore firms.

Mr. Putin did not go into the details of allegations against Mr. Roldugin or other Russian offshore interests, but he praised his friend.

According to BBC News, Mr. Putin, speaking live on TV, said Russia’s Western opponents “are worried by the unity of the Russian nation… and that is why they are attempting to rock us from within, to make us more obedient”.

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