LONDON (Reuters) - Here are some details of irritants in relations between Russia and Britain, which engaged in tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions this month.
-- Last week Moscow accused Britain of “paranoid spymania” and hinted that the arrest of Katia Zatuliveter, a Russian aide to a British member of parliament, could set back efforts to improve relations with London.
-- Spy spats between London and Moscow go back to the Cold War. In January 2006, Russia’s FSB security service accused London of spying after revealing in a television program a fake rock that it said concealed a device used by British spies to communicate with Moscow agents. Britain did not admit to the charges.
* ANDREI LUGOVOY:
-- Russia enraged Britain by refusing to extradite ex-KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoy, key suspect in the murder of emigre Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko, a former Russian state security officer and Kremlin critic, died in London in 2006 from poisoning by radioactive polonium.
-- The row led to London and Moscow expelling diplomats in July 2007. Lugovoy was elected to the lower house of parliament, the Duma, in December 2007. -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague, on a visit to Moscow in October, said Britain had not changed its stance and called on Moscow to extradite Lugovoy.
* BORIS BEREZOVSKY:
-- Moscow has resented London granting refugee status to Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky who was a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin.
-- Britain has repeatedly rejected Russian requests to extradite Berezovsky, wanted in Moscow on several criminal charges. Berezovsky, who has lived in London since 2000, has said the charges have been invented to silence him.
-- Last March Berezovsky won 150,000 pounds ($225,000) libel damages at London’s High Court after claims on a Russian TV channel that he was connected with the poisoning of Litvinenko.
* YEVGENY CHICHVARKIN:
-- Chichvarkin fled to self-imposed exile in Britain in 2008, saying he could be killed if he were in prison. Russia’s request to extradite him became one in a chain of unmet requests that have been a sore point in the country’s relations with Britain. -- In September, a British court delayed until next year a hearing into Russia’s request to extradite Chichvarkin, who is accused at home of running a mafia-like structure. He has denied all the charges, describing them as politically motivated.
* AKHMED ZAKAYEV:
-- Zakayev, a senior commander in two separatist wars with Moscow in the 1990s, represents the moderate wing of the Chechen separatist movement. Accused by Russia of being a terrorist, he has been subject to an international arrest warrant since 2001.
-- A British court turned down a Russian request to extradite Zakayev in November 2003. Judge Timothy Workman said Zakayev faced a substantial risk of being tortured if he was sent back to Russia.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;
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