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Putin shrugs off assassination warnings

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Putin shrugs off assassination warnings


Russia’s President Putin has shrugged off fears that assassins are planning to kill him, and will go ahead with his trip to Iran. The claims surfaced as Mr Putin arrived in Germany for a short visit ahead of his talks in Tehran. Iran dismissed out of hand a report that suicide bombers would attack the Russian leader, saying it was psychological warfare by Tehran’s enemies.

Moscow though gave it more credence; security experts said there were many radical groups who might like to settle the score with Mr Putin. As he posed for official photos with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Putin was asked about his reaction.

A dismissive wave of the hand showed his opinion. Mr Putin has been the target of other alleged assassination plots. After his election in 1999, Ukrainian secret services said they had foiled an attempt to kill him at a summit of former Soviet republics in Yalta. In 2003, police in London arrested two men in connection with another plot.

Russia has generally good relations with Iran, and is providing help for Tehran’s nuclear programme.

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