Kremlin 'must have known' about plot to kill Litvinenko
Thursday 02 December 2010
The murder of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was likely to have been carried out with Vladimir Putin's knowledge, according to the US's most senior diplomat in Europe.
The latest information released by Wikileaks reveals that in a secret conversation with a French diplomat in Paris, Daniel Fried, the assistant secretary of state, questioned whether "rogue elements" in Russia's security services would have been able to carry out the hit in London four years ago without Mr Putin, who was then the Russian president, being aware, given his "attention to detail".
Mr Fried added the Russians were behaving with "increasing self-confidence to the point of arrogance". His remarks came just two weeks after Mr Litvinenko died from polonium-210 poisoning in a London hospital.
The cables refer to a meeting on 7 December 2006 between Mr Fried and Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, a senior diplomatic adviser to Jacques Chirac, France's president at the time. The conversation took place at a time of strained US-French relations after Jacques Chirac had criticised the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The revelations will likely embarrass both Mr Gourdault-Montagne – who is now France's ambassador to London – and Mr Fried, who is now a special envoy charged by Barack Obama with the task of closing down Guantanamo Bay.
Nor will the release help efforts on the part of both the Kremlin and Downing Street to move on from the Litvinenko affair and the extended diplomatic fallout it caused. The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, visited Moscow last month.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...