Stockholm: Secret cables released by the whistleblower website Wikileaks have revealed that Russia was tracking the suspected killers of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned in London in 2006, but was warned off by Britain saying the situation was "under control".
According to The Guardian, the secret memo, recording a 2006 meeting between an ex-CIA bureau chief and a former KGB officer, could re-ignite the diplomatic row surrounding Litvinenko’s murder that year, which many experts had linked directly to the Kremlin.
The memo, written by US embassy in Paris, records "an amicable December 07 dinner meeting with ambassador-at-large Henry Crumpton and Russian special presidential representative Anatoliy Safonov", two weeks after Litvinenko`s death.
During their dinner, both had reportedly discussed how the two countries could work together to tackle terrorism.
The paper quoted the memo as saying: "Safonov opened the meeting by expressing his appreciation for US/Russian co-operative efforts thus far. He cited the recent events in London, specifically the murder of a former Russian spy by exposure to radioactive agents, as evidence of how great the threat remained and how much more there was to do on the co-operative front."
It also contains an observation from US embassy officials that Safonov`s comments suggested that Russia was not involved in the killing, although Safonov did not offer any further explanation.
The memo further shows Safonov claiming that “Russian authorities in London had known about and followed individuals moving radioactive substances into the city but were told by the British that they were under control before the poisoning took place".
The latest WikiLeaks release comes after relations between Moscow and London soured over of Britain`s decision to expel a Russian parliamentary researcher on spying charges.