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The poisoning of Alexi Navalny is worrying world leaders already concerned about Vladimir Putin’s global impact, Professor Robert Patman says.
‘‘This is not just a matter for Russia, because Mr Putin’s presence is beginning to cause a lot of serious international problems,’’ global affairs specialist Prof Patman told Global Insight.
Otago University’s Prof Patman says, while it is not certain the Russian President had a hand in the attempted poisoning of his most vocal political opponent, a number of Putin’s other critics have been shot or poisoned.
And although the poisoning could be seen as a ‘‘domestic situation’’, it raises another red flag for those concerned about Putin’s attempts to shore up his position at home by interfering in other countries’ affairs,
Prof Patman pointed to apparent Russian interference in the United States, the United Kindgom and Germany.
‘‘What he is trying to do is maintain power by showing that the alternative to his rule, liberal democracy, doesn’t work.’’