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Kremlin: British Report on Litvinenko's Death Could 'Poison' Russia-UK Ties

Sputnik News

18:42 21.01.2016(updated 20:37 21.01.2016)

The British inquiry into the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko is a quasi-probe that could damage Russia-UK relations even further, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the British inquiry blamed Litvinenko's death on Russian authorities but could not conclude that the polonium-210 used to poison the former agent had come from Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the UK inquiry was politicized.

'Such quasi-investigations, as I would call them, can only further poison the atmosphere of our bilateral relations,' Peskov told reporters.

The UK report on Litvinenko's death is based on assumptions, which is unacceptable in Russian legal practice, Peskov added.

'I'm saying 'quasi-investigation' because we cannot accept it as an investigation, as it is based on certain assumptions, on probability. The words 'possibly,' 'probably' are used. Such terminology is not allowed in our legal practice, it is not permitted in the jurisprudence of other countries, and we can certainly not consider this a verdict,' Peskov told reporters.

Alexander Litvinenko fled from Russia to the United Kingdom in 2000. He died in 2006, three weeks after drinking tea with his former colleagues Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy in central London.

Following his death, the UK authorities claimed that Litvinenko's former colleagues had poisoned him with the radioactive isotope polonium-210. A public inquiry into Litvinenko's death was formally established by the UK government in July 2014.

Earlier, Lugovoy said that he had passed a polygraph test conducted by British experts, that proved he was not guilty of murdering Litvinenko.


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