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Russia yet to receive evidence from Britain on poisoning case: FM
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10:45, July 20, 2007

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Russia has yet to receive any documents from Britain to justify its request to extradite Andrei Lugovoi who is accused by Britain of poisoning a dissident former Russian agent in London.

"With respect to the request specifically to extradite Mr. Lugovoi, we have not seen the actual documents, the actual materials," Lavrov told a press conference after attending a meeting of the Middle East Quartet in this Portuguese capital.

"We are still unclear as to what led the British investigators to conclude that he is guilty," said the minister.

The British government has accused Lugovoi of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian exile who died at a London hospital in November last year after the two met at a central London hotel.

Lavrov said Russian law forbids its citizens to be extradited, noting his country has cooperated with Britain in the investigation into the case.

Earlier on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Russia to extradite Lugovoi.

"There was a terrible crime committed on the British soil. That crime needs to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice and punished," Rice told a press conference here after meeting her Portuguese counterpart Luis Amado.

Russia expelled four British diplomats on Thursday and suspended cooperation with London on fighting terrorism. The move came after Britain said it would expel four Russian diplomats in London in retaliation for Moscow's refusal to extradite Lugovoi.

Source: Xinhua

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