Mark Tran and agencies
Tuesday July 24, 2007
Vladimir Putin tonight accused Britain of "colonial thinking", in the latest twist in the diplomatic row over the murder of the Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko.
In his harshest comments yet on the affair, the Russian president denounced as insulting Britain's extradition demands for Andrei Lugovoi to stand trial in London over the killing.
"What they propose is an obvious vestige of colonial thinking," Mr Putin said on Russian state television. "They must have clearly forgotten that Britain is no longer a colonial power, there are no colonies left and, thank God, Russia has never been a British colony."
Mr Putin has previously said the Russian constitution forbids extradition of its own citizens, but until now he has refrained from such provocative rhetoric.
Britain has accused Mr Lugovoi, a former KGB ag
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