Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President's aide Andrei Fursenko attend a meeting of the presidential education council in the Kremlin in Moscow, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)
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President Vladimir Putin has made no public comment on the sensational report by a British judge that concluded the Kremlin leader probably approved a 2006 plan to kill a Russian dissident in London.Moscow apparently believes that Western leaders' eagerness to stem the tide of Syrian refugees will make them hesitant to push Russia too strongly in the murder case, fearful of hindering peace talks on Syria that are scheduled to begin next week.Russia's reaction to Thursday's report on the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko – a former security operative who became a fierce Kremlin critic – is a familiar one in the Putin era: A denial of any wrongdoing amid aggrieved contentions that foreign puppeteers are aiming to push Putin from power and weaken Russia.Russia also has wedges it can employ with the Western world, particularly regarding Syria.Russia has not announced any retaliatory measures.Russia has another interest in preventing relations with the West from worsening: the conflict in Ukraine.
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