'Not possible" to extradite Russians, Medvedev tells Cameron

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that the Kremlin would not bow to Britain's demand to hand over a suspect in the 2006 London poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko.

"This is not possible. We all have to learn to respect our legal norms," Medvedev said at a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"A Russian citizen may not be extradited or handed over to a foreign state for legal proceedings or an investigation," Medvedev said.

Cameron also acknowledged persisting differences, but stressed the legal row should not stand in the way of stronger business ties.

"There are still issues between the two governments... There are legal issues," he told reporters.

"As we have discussed, while these difficulties and disagreements between us remain, we are not changing out views on these issues, that does not mean we should not pursue stronger business relations."

Asked by a reporter about how London could pursue closer business relations with a Kremlin flatly refusing to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the chief suspect in Litvinenko's polonium poisoning, who is now a Russian parliament member, Cameron said:

"This issue has not been parked. The fact is the two governments do not agree... I do not think that means we freeze the entire relationship."

© 2011 AFP

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