Russia astonished by British reaction in Litvineko case

Russia's Foreign Ministry has said that it is astonished at criticism from London over the decision not to extradite Andrey Lugovoy, Britain's chief suspect in the murder of former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko.

“Our position fully corresponds with Russian legislation. I'd like to remind you that article 61 of the Russian Constitution says: ”a Russian citizen cannot be deported outside Russian territory and cannot be extradited to another country“. Also I'd like to add that in the 1990-s the Western world, including Great Britain, was actively calling for Russia to build a jural state and respect its legislation. We're also astonished by the position of London which tries to make our diverse and fruitful co-operation a hostage of the extradition of a Russian citizen,” Mikhail Kamynin, the Foreign Ministry's Official Representative, commented. 

The statement follows reports in the Financial Times, that the UK may break off relations with Russia in some areas after Russia's refusal to extradite Lugovoy. According to the newspaper, areas in education, social issues, trade or anti-terror operations could be affected.

The British Government says Russia's refusal to extradite him is unacceptable as hundreds of British citizens and visitors to London were put at risk by the alleged poisoning.

Russia's constitution does not allow the extradition, and Moscow says it could put Lugovoy on trial instead.