Litvinenko: Russian police to visit UK

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The Independent Online

Russian investigators are expected to visit London next week to discuss with Scotland Yard detectives the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian security service agent.

Prosecutors in Russia have sent the Metropolitan Police a list of the names of dozens of suspects and witnesses they want to question . The Met's counter terrorism command, whose officers went to Moscow last month to investigate the case, has agreed to talks with its Russian counterparts.

Yuri Fedotov, Russia's ambassador, suggested that British authorities had been stalling by taking more than three weeks to reply to the request. He denied relations between the two countries had been damaged by the death of Mr Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in November.

The Met is understood to be willing to contact some, but not all, of the people the Russians wish to interview, and ask them whether they would be prepared to be questioned as a witness. Any questioning would take place in the presence of a British police officer, and would be voluntary.

Mr Fedotov said: "Russian investigators co-operated with Scotland Yard and we expect the same degree of co-operation here."