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poisoning

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, Nov 22 (UNI) Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) today again denied its role in poisoning former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London.

''Such steps are not in our interests,'' the spokesman for the SVR Sergei Ivanov told Interfax news agency today.

''Russia and the United Kingdom have a relationship of trust and mutual understanding. These relations became even stronger during the G-8 summit in St Petersburg. It is totally absurd to disturb this mutual understanding because of ridiculous accusations against Russia,'' Mr Ivanov said.

''Mr Litvinenko is not the kind of person because of whom bilateral relations can be marred. Geo-political affairs and this person are incomparable,'' he noted.

British police is conducting an inquiry into the alleged poisoning of Litvinenko, who defected to Britain in 2002 and is living in exile in London. The former KGB agent is known for his harsh criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this month, he was admitted to a London hospital and diagnosed with serious poisoning allegedly by thallium, a toxic heavy metal. He felt sick after meeting over lunch with an Italian contact, who had promised to hand over some documents linked to the contract killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, last month.

UNI XC SB BD1923

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