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Russia FM certain 'performance' around Litvinenko case will hurt Russian-British ties

January 26, 14:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Sergey Lavrov stressed that Moscow wants the United Kingdom to carry out unbiased investigations into the increased cases of the deaths of Russian citizens
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© AP Photo/Sang Tan

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The performance around the 2006 death case of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko will further complicate the relations between Moscow and London, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the annual press conference on Tuesday.

Speaking on last week’s report on UK’s public inquiry into the Litvinenko case, Lavrov said "very serious accusations were made against the Russian leadership but no evidence was provided."

If a trained lawyer analyzed those facts and statements made by the leadership of the British government then they could be brought to justice for slander, he said. "The material for this is sufficient enough."

Lavrov agreed with the UK Foreign Office that the Litvinenko case will hurt bilateral ties. "I fully agree with this," he stressed. "Not only the Litvinenko case but the performance around the Litvinenko case will very seriously complicate our relations," Lavrov said. "And this will be done - our relations will be complicated without any "possibly," "probably and "maybe." They will be complicated for sure," he said.

"We want the United Kingdom to carry out unbiased investigations into the increased cases of the deaths of Russian citizens about whom they forget in several months, not in 10 years, and tell us nothing about this," he added.

On January 21, a public inquiry into the Litvinenko case claimed that Russia was involved in the death of the former FSB officer who defected to Britain and that two Russians - Andrey Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun - were the ones who put the man to death.

The report said, though, the court was unable to confirm Russian origin of polonium - the substance that according to British forensic experts had been used to poison Litvinenko.

The Russian ambassador was summoned to the British Foreign Office, and Prime Minister David Cameron did not rule out the possibility of more sanctions against Russia.

Moscow is certain that London’s actions regarding the Litvinenko case have a political side to it.

Alexander Litvinenko, who had been granted political asylum in Britain, died in London on November 23, 2006. Forensic examination found that he had been poisoned with polonium, but the circumstances and details of his death have not been established yet and remain a great controversy.

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