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Britain could cease cooperating with Russia in some areas after its refusal to extradite a prime suspect in the poisoning of a Russian defector and U.K. national
Britain could cease cooperating with Russia in some areas after its refusal to extradite a prime suspect in the poisoning of a Russian defector and U.K. national, British newspapers said Wednesday. Russia has refused to extradite Andrei Lugovoi to stand trial for the murder of former KGB officer and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko last November, saying it runs counter to its Constitution. The prime minister's spokesman said Tuesday the refusal was "extremely disappointing," The Times reported. The paper also quoted the spokesman as saying Downing Street "did not have full confidence" that Moscow's alternative offer to try Lugovoi in Russia "would meet the standards of impartiality and fairness we would deem necessary." Britain's Foreign Office plans to present a report on Russia's decision to Parliament next week, which could include proposals to curb cooperation in education, social affairs, trade and antiterrorism, The Times said. "We have consistently said that the murder of Mr Litvinenko is a serious criminal matter. Hundreds of British citizens and visitors to the capital were put at risk. The Russian reply is unacceptable," the daily quoted a Foreign Office spokeswoman as saying. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair earlier warned President Vladimir Putin that if his country failed to live up to its international obligations, it would have an impact on the number of businesses that would risk making investments in its economy, the paper said. The Financial Times said the case was the first serious diplomatic challenge for new Prime Minister Gordon Brown and David Miliband, the new head of the Foreign Office, which the paper said was still "reflecting on Moscow's stance." The newspaper also said diplomats were believed "to be examining whether they could restrict Lugovoi's international movements or organize a trial in a third country." Litvinenko, a Kremlin critic who lived in London, died last November, aged 44, three weeks after being poisoned at the Millennium hotel with radioactive polonium. He allegedly left a deathbed note accusing Putin of orchestrating his poisoning. The Kremlin has dismissed the accusation as "nonsense." Lugovoi, a former Kremlin bodyguard turned businessman, who met with Litvinenko on the day of his poisoning had denied his guilt and claimed in May he had evidence linking Britain's MI6 intelligence to the murder of Litvinenko, who he said was a MI6 agent. The case has strained relations between Britain and Russia, which has also been unsuccessfully seeking the extradition of Boris Berezovsky, the billionaire living in Britain and wanted in Russia on fraud charges and for conspiracy to overthrow Putin. London has refused to extradite the tycoon citing the lack of evidence against him.
Print Britain could cease cooperating with Russia in some areas after its refusal to extradite a prime suspect in the poisoning of a Russian defector and U.K. national Bookmark Britain could cease cooperating with Russia in some areas after its refusal to extradite a prime suspect in the poisoning of a Russian defector and U.K. national

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