UK charges Russian agent with Litvenenko's murder

But Russia refuses to extradite him. Does it end there, or will this have broader implications for Russia’s relations with the UK or the West generally? How will it play in Russia?

The US has not extradited US-connected agents for Venezuelan and Cuban trials over airplane sabotage. If you know too much they can’t afford to let these shadowy types go, even if they are clearly guilty

I’m not at all surprised that the Russians have refused to extradite. They were pretty damned uncooperative during the British police investigation, too (paging DCI Tennison!). They’re playing their cards pretty close to the vest in this case, especially given the allegations that the Kremlin had, at best, tacitly permitted the hit, or had, at worst, ordered it. Polonium isn’t there for the asking in Moscow pharmacies, last I checked.

I expect the whole controversy will leave British-Russian relations chillier than ever, but I don’t know that it will go much beyond that. This seems likely to be one of those lingering irritants between countries that goes on and on.

FWIW, the U.S. also hasn’t extradited those CIA agents charged with kidnapping terror suspects in Italy - although I’m not sure if the Italian government has formally requested their extradition.

It did, and the U.S. refused.

Actually, the article bears out my recollection: the local Milan prosecutors want to extradite (and properly so, IMHO), but the Italian government has not made - and likely will not make - a formal request for extradition.

On BBC news the day this story broke, the opinion seemed to be that Russia has sound legal reasons for not extraditing one of its citizens (it’s forbidden by the Russian constitution), and furthermore the Russians have been asking for months for the extradition of Boris Berezovsky, among others, who is currently an exile in London. So it looks as if Russia has a pretty strong case here. Obviously there’s not going to be a war over it; I guess that eventually the CPS will have to give up, knowing the patience and stoicism of the Russians. Unless they work some kind of deal whereby the Russians get Berezovsky in exchange for the guy we want, but I can’t see that happening.

Who is this Boris Berezovsky?

Boris Berezovsky one of a growing number of Russian “businessmen” living in London. Mr Putin and he are not good friends, it’s fair to say.

Ooh! Now Andrey Lugovoy (the spy accused of killing Litvenenko) is blaming the murder on the UK’s own MI6!