Russia is rejecting the findings of the UK’s inquiry into the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, cautioning that it could “poison” relations.
The British government summoned Moscow’s ambassador, demanding answers from the Kremlin, and the extradition of the two main suspects.
Russia declined to cooperate in the judge-led inquiry.
“For us, it’s absolutely unacceptable that the report concludes that the Russian state was in any way involved in the death of Mr Litvinenko on British soil,” said Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK.
“This gross provocation of the British authorities cannot help hurting our bilateral relations.”
Some of the inquiry was held in secret and British government and spy agency evidence has not been publicly disclosed.
There is criticism of the way the investigation was conducted.
“This investigation was not public. Everything said by the British justice and the media cited public hearings. That’s a lie,” said Andrei Lugovoy.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry describes Britain’s handling of the case as biased an opaque. The claim that Putin probably approved Litvinenko’s killing provoked immediate censure from Moscow.