Britain to expel 4 Russian diplomats

Britain will expel four Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in London after Moscow refused to extradite the suspect accused of murdering Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament Monday.

Britain to expel 4 Russian diplomats
Britain will expel four Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in London after Moscow refused to extradite the suspect accused of murdering Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament Monday.

Miliband told the House of Commons that this was the "appropriate response" to Russia's lack of cooperation.

Negotiations over visa relaxations for Russian citizens would also be suspended, Miliband said, adding that a "number of issues" regarding cooperation with Russia would need to be reconsidered.

Britain intended to discuss with other European Union countries whether the issue would affect future dialogue between Russia and the EU, he said.

Russia had earlier refused to extradite suspect Andrej Lugovoi to face trial in Britain.

According to the British public prosecutor, ex-KGB officer Lugovoi is said to have killed former Russian agent Litvinenko by poisoning him with radioactive Polonium 210 in November 2006.

Lugovoi denies the claim.

Under the 1957 European Convention on Extradition, Russia has the right to refuse the extradition of a citizen.

However, Miliband called the refusal "extremely disappointing."

According to the convention, Britain can request the investigation to be taken on by the Russian authorities.

However, Sir Ken Macdonald, Britain's director of public prosecutions, has rejected an offer from the Kremlin to try Lugovoi in Russia.

DPA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Temmuz 2007, 21:38
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