Kremlin rejects British accusations, warns of "consequences"

Moscow does not accept the results of a British inquiry into the killing of spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Source: B92
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(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

Russia believes that Britain had violated the principle of the presumption of innocence, according to RIA Novosti.

In the first reaction after the publication of the report that states the poisoning of Litvinenko was "probably approved by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin personally," the news agency quoted an unnamed source from the Kremlin, who reiterated that Russia finds it unacceptable that certain parts of the inquiry were secret.

The same source claims that the outcome will have "serious consequences in relations between London and Moscow."

RT is reporting that the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the report, "blaming London for politicizing the 'purely criminal' case of Litvinenko’s death," and saying in a statement that Moscow "had not expected any other outcome, and questioned the report’s impartiality and transparency."

The 300-page report on the murder of Litvinenko was published almost ten years since the radioactive poisoning of former KGB and FSB spy, who defected to Britain and started working for British intelligence services.

The report states that the murder was "probably personally approved" by Vladimir Putin and then head of the FSB, Nikolai Patrushev.

The inquiry named Russian citizens Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun as those who carried out the killing in London.

"When Mr. Lugovoy poisoned Mr. Litvinenko, it is probable that he did so under the direction of FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service)," inquiry Judge Robert Owen said, according to TASS, and added that "the FSB operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr. Patrushev and also by President Putin."

RT noted that the report "stresses that its conclusions are based on many witness opinions that would not be admissible as evidence" and that in his report, Owen was "not bound by strict procedural rules that apply to court hearings."

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