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Putin's Olympics snub welcomed

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the London Olympics.

British MPs, who have campaigned against human rights abuses in Russia, immediately welcomed the snub.

Former Europe minister Denis MacShane claimed it was a way for the newly-sworn president to avoid pressure on Syria.

He said: "Putin now realises that he is not welcome in London because of Russia's flagrant rejection of European values and norms and failure to investigate and punish officials who violate rule of law."

It is possible that prime minister Dmitry Medvedev may attend the Games which kick off with the opening ceremony on July 27.

Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The death of anti-corruption campaigner and lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has also triggered major diplomatic tensions with Russia.

Mr Magnitsky insisted on investigating crooked transactions. He was arrested in 2008 and jailed. Placed in brutal conditions, his health deteriorated, but he was deprived of medical assistance. He died aged 37 in 2009.

Post mortem photographs showed he was badly beaten shortly before he died.

The US has barred 60 individuals linked to Mr Magnitsky's death from entering the country.

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