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Litvinenko suspect given final deadline to give evidence

Dmitri Kovtun is due to give evidence at the inquiry into Alexander Litvinenko's death in 2006 Credit: Reuters

A suspect in the killing of Alexander Litvinenko,has been given until 9am today to give evidence to the inquiry into the Russian spy's death.

Dmitri Kovtun, has been accused of "manipulating" the probe after he was due to start giving testimony from Moscow by video link on Monday but has failed to do so as yet.

Alexander Litvinenko died after being poisoned with radioactive material. Credit: PA

Mr Litvinenko, 43, died nearly three weeks after consuming tea laced with polonium-210 in London in November 2006.

Police concluded that the fatal dose was probably consumed during a meeting with Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi at a hotel in central London.

Mr Kovtun had asked to give evidence but gave the inquiry a string of reasons why he was unable to in the days before he was due to appear again earlier this week.


Obama tells Putin: Remove all Russian troops from Ukraine

US President Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart that he needs to remove all "troops and equipment" from Ukrainian territory.

In a statement, the White House revealed Vladimir Putin phoned Obama for their first call since February, to discuss the Iran nuclear talks, the "increasingly dangerous situation in Syria", tackling Islamic State extremists and the situation in Ukraine.

Obama reportedly told Putin that Russia must live up to the terms of a ceasefire deal with the neighbouring country, "including the removal of all Russian troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory", the statement added.

Putin: We won World Cup bid fairly

Vladimir Putin has insisted that the 2018 football World Cup will go ahead in his country, despite the launch of an investigation into alleged corruption during the bidding process.

Putin doesn't believe the decision to host the World Cup can be changed Credit: Reuters

The Russian president said England's failure to secure the tournament came about because the bid team did not exhibit its country's potential as a host.

Prosecutors in Switzerland are conducting an investigation into allegations of money laundering surrounding Fifa's handling of the 2010 bidding process which led to Russia being named hosts for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

But Mr Putin said: "If anyone has evidence, let them present it. We won in a fair fight and we are going to host the World Cup. Any other decision we will consider unfair."

"Great Britain did not exhibit all their potential for what it needed to do to win the World Cup.

"We don't think we are guilty of anything. We fought for the bid fairly. We don't think the decision can be changed. Construction of the stadia has begun and the next World Cup is very soon."

No financial aid deal between Russia and Greece

Russia and Greece are not discussing an emergency financial aid package, the Kremlin has said, after President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met today.

Asked whether financial assistance had been discussed when the two leaders met at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "No, no, no."


Obama: Talks will cover Russian aggression in Ukraine

US President Barack Obama has said "standing up to Russia aggression in Ukraine" will be among topics on the agenda at the G7 Summit.

US President Barack Obama arrives for the G7 summit in Germany. Credit: RTV

He also listed the global economy, the future of the European Union, trade partnerships, combating extremism, and climate change as areas that will also be discussed.

Russian Sports Minister: We will host 2018 World Cup

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says there was no risk of Russia losing the 2018 soccer World Cup finals after the United States said it was investigating the bidding process.

Russian Sports Minister: We will host 2018 World Cup Credit: Reuters

"There is no risk to Russia hosting the World Cup," Mutko was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Rifkind 'not surprised to be banned from Russia'

Sir Malcolm Rifkind told ITV News he is "not particularly surprised" that he is among 89 European Union politicians and other senior figures who have been banned from entering Russia.

The former Foreign Secretary said President Putin has "that sort of little tantrum every so often."

I'm not particularly surprised, Mr Putin tends to go in for that sort of little tantrum every so often and they clearly are feeling that the sanctions are having an effect, they are realising that their economy will continue to be damaged unless they approach the Ukraine issue in a diplomatic way, rather than misuse of their military forces.

– Sir Malcolm Rifkind
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