Huntingdon MP makes call for tougher action against Russia in wake of inquiry

Conservative Jonathan Djanogly MP

Conservative Jonathan Djanogly MP - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has called for tough sanctions against Russia in the wake of an inquiry which concluded that President Valdimir Putin “probably” sanctioned the killing of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Speaking in the House of Commons last Thursday, Mr Djanogly said that it is “imperative” that the Government takes action against Russia following the poisoning of Mr Litvinenko in 2006.

Mr Djanogly’s call for action came after the publication of an inquiry into the killing, which concluded that two Russian men - Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun - deliberately poisoned the 43-year-old Mr Litvinenko by putting the radioactive substance polonium-210 into his drink at a hotel.

The inquiry concluded that the killing was “probably” approved by Mr Putin because of “antagonism” between the pair – something which the Russian government has denied.

Mr Djanogly said: “We are constantly reminded of Russia’s human rights abuses against its own citizens, and we have initiated sanctions against Russia for its abuse of human rights against citizens of other countries such as Ukraine.

“Surely it is now imperative that we initiate sanctions against Russia, as well as against those individuals responsible for killing a British citizen on British soil.”

In response, Home Secretary Theresa May told Mr Djanogly that action was already being taken and said further measures would be considered.

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Mrs May said: “As I indicated, in 2007 the then government took a number of measures, including the expulsion of certain officials from the Russian embassy and visa sanctions, and some of those measures remain in place.

“Sanctions have been implemented, and further sanctions have been taken against individuals in relation to Russia’s actions in the Crimea and Ukraine. We are very clear about the nature of Russia, which is why we have continued to consider steps that can be taken. Anybody who thinks that sanctions are not in place is wrong—sanctions are in place.”