Thursday, January 21, 2016

Russia Dismisses British Litvinenko Inquiry Findings

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is dismissing a British inquiry’s conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved a 2006 assassination operation in which the country's spy agency poisoned its former agent Alexander Litvinenko in London. 

“We regret that the purely criminal case has been politicized and has marred the entire atmosphere of bilateral relations," said ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in Russian state media.

"Of course, we need time to study in detail the content of this document and after that we will give a full assessment," she added.

Litvinenko’s death by radiation poisoning at a hotel in London has been a sore point in British and Russian relations. Moscow refused to turn over the prime suspects, Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun. Lugovoy has since been given his own television show and became a Russian lawmaker, giving him immunity from prosecution.

But Russia has made clear it has no intention of allowing an independent investigation or prosecution of either man. 

At an afternoon press conference, Zakharova claimed Russia supports an unbiased investigation into Litvinenko’s death.  She linked the inquiry to Ukraine, another sore point in relations, saying it was probably not a coincidence the public inquiry coincided with the deterioration of the situation there........

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