United Kingdom to seek Russian extraditions in Skripal case

UK 'ready to ask Russia to extradite suspects in Novichok poisoning'

Ministers are preparing to submit an extradition request to Moscow for two suspects responsible for the Salisbury nerve agent attack, as the Government vowed to exert "international pressure" to force Russian Federation to "do the right thing".

Government officials and prosecutors would not confirm details of the Guardian report when queried by dpa. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisonings, but United Kingdom intelligence chiefs have continued to accuse the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself of signing off on the attacks.

But the extradition request is expected to be rejected by Russian Federation, the paper added.

They say the Crown Prosecution has prepared an extradition request and it is ready to file, according to sources from Whitehall.

Speaking to The Guardian, a Whitehall source said: "The CPS has been asked to prepare extradition requests and we understand they are ready to go. It's nearly a rerun of the situation", The Guardian quoted a government source as saying.

In 2007, after Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko was murdered with polonium in London, Moscow refused Britain's request to extradite two Russian suspects in the case.

The Skripal incident occurred in March, when the former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 intelligence service and his daughter were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury.

Later Dawn Sturgess and her boyfriend Charlie Rowley were exposed to the chemical. One died days afterwards.

The Russian constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to another state. Mr Rowley recovered but Ms Sturgess died last month. British police believe the Novichok attacks were carried out using perfume bottle sprays or smears placed directly on their doorknobs and other surfaces. And the query would worsen the diplomatic row between Britain and Russian Federation.

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