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Marina Litvinenko: Lesson not learned after my husband’s death

The widow was speaking on the BBC’s Marr programme.

The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has suggested the Government’s response to her husband’s death was not strong enough, following the suspected nerve agent attack which left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia critically ill.

Marina Litvinenko told the BBC’s Marr programme the lesson “was not learned”, more than a decade after Mr Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, was fatally poisoned.

A public inquiry concluded in 2016 that the killing of the Russian dissident had “probably” been carried out with the approval of president Vladimir Putin.

Mrs Litvinenko was speaking as Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter remain in hospital following the suspected attack in Salisbury a week ago.

Detectives have yet to identify who was responsible, although Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson triggered a diplomatic row by pointing the figure at the Kremlin – something rejected by the Russian Embassy.

Acknowledging a meeting between herself and the then-home secretary Theresa May – who said the Government “must continue to pursue justice” over the death to ensure the incident is not repeated – Mrs Litvinenko said: “But unfortunately it happened again, and the lesson after the murder of my husband was not learned.

“We understand the relationship between two countries such as Russia and the UK need to be at a high level.

“But we know Russia never supported the investigation into the killing of my husband, nobody was punished and people who were the killers of my husband were not even suspects.”

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