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Russia dismisses UK inquiry into Litvinenko murder

Sputnik News

Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:43PM

Russia's Foreign Ministry has strongly rejected as politicized the conclusion of a British inquiry into the 2006 killing of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement on Thursday slammed the results of Britain's inquiry into the death of Litvinenko, as biased and vague.

She, however, said that Russia was not expecting the British lead investigator's report on the Litvinenko case to be impartial.

'We regret that a purely criminal case was politicized and darkened the general atmosphere of bilateral relations,' Zakharova said in a statement, adding, 'We had no reason to expect that the final findings of the politically motivated and extremely non-transparent process, which has been skewed to achieve the predetermined, 'needed' result, would suddenly become objective and unbiased.'

The spokeswoman also said London's handling of the case clouded bilateral relations between the two countries.

The inquiry into the 2006 killing concluded that President Vladimir Putin and security chief Nikolai Patrushev probably approved a Russian intelligence operation to kill Litvinenko.

In a lengthy report, Judge Robert Owen claimed that former KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy and lawmaker Dmitry Kovtun carried out the poisoning.

Reacting to the probe, Kovtun has called the charges against him "absurd."

Lugovoy also pointed out that the start of the official British inquiry coincided with the Ukraine crisis and accused London of pursuing the 'polonium scandal' for its own political goals.

'I am hoping that this 'polonium process' will dispel a myth about the impartiality of British justice,' Lugovoy said, adding, 'The results of the inquiry made public today once again confirm London's anti-Russian stance, tunnel thinking and the unwillingness of the British to establish the true cause of Litvinenko's death.'

Britain summons Russian envoy

Meanwhile, Britain on Thursday summoned the Russian ambassador following the report into the radiation poisoning murder of ex-spy.

London has also imposed asset freezes on the two men identified as the perpetrators.

Reacting to the report, Home Secretary Theresa May in an address to parliament told lawmakers that the killing was 'a blatant and unacceptable breach of the most fundamental tenets of international law.'

Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of Putin who fled to Britain in 2000, died after drinking green tea poisoned with radioactive isotope polonium-210 at a London hotel.


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