Russia ready to cooperate with Britain in Lugovoi case: Putin

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Moscow, Sep 29 (UNI) Russia's President Vladimir Putin today said the country will cooperate with British law authorities in the Andrei Lugovoi case if they can confirm his involvement in the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Britain has sought the extradition of Lugovoi, main accused in the murder of Litvinenko, living in political exile in London, last November.

Russia has refused to hand over Lugovoi to London, citing its constitution which bars extraditing the citizens to foreign countries.

''If anyone wants to stir up political passions, such wishes seldom bring good results,'' Mr Putin told reporters in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

''According to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, about 20 Russian citizens suspected of serious crimes are hiding in Britain,'' he said, pointing out that they had not been extradited despite repeated requests.

''If they produce any evidence to his illegal activity, the Russian law enforcers will immediately put him to justice,'' Itar -Tass quoted Mr Putin as saying, referring to Lugovoi.

''However, the demands for his transfer are not being accompanied with any evidence. If there is any, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office will analyse it and constructively cooperate with British colleagues,'' the president added.

The case has unprecedentedly worsened relations between the two countries.


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