Diplomatic relations between Russia and the United Kingdom are being reviewed following Moscow’s refusal to extradite the man suspected of murdering Alexander Litvinenko. Andrei Lugovoi has denied any involvement in the killing. Russia offered to try him in Moscow instead but Britain says Russia’s position is “unacceptable” and it is now considering its cooperation on a range of other issues.
Litvinenko, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, and a former secret service agent, died a slow and agonising death after being poisoned with the highly-radioactive Polonium 210. Traces of it were found in a London hotel where he allegedly met Lugovoi, also a former secret agent, for tea.
The British authorities delivered an extradition request to Moscow, accusing Lugovoi of murder. They have now received a formal refusal. The suspect has said he believes Litvinenko was killed by British intelligence agents and that he is being framed. Litvinenko himself accused President Putin of being behind his murder.