Asked if there had been a reaction to the formal announcement by Russia that Mr. Lugovoy would not be extradited, the PMS said that our position was that Russia's refusal to extradite Mr. Lugovoy was extremely disappointing. We deeply regretted that Russia had failed to show the necessary level of co-operation in this matter. The Director of Public Prosecution had carefully considered Russia's offer of a trial under Russian law, but concluded that this was unacceptable. This was a crime that was committed in London, the evidence and the witnesses were in the UK, and we did not have full confidence that a trial in Moscow would meet the standards of impartiality and fairness that would be deemed necessary. Therefore, we remained convinced that Mr. Lugovoy should answer the evidential case against him in a British court. In terms of next steps, at the moment we were reviewing the situation and considering what further steps we could take, but in our view, this response was extremely disappointing and we considered it a serious matter.
Asked if there was anything further that could be done, the PMS replied that we were considering all of the options on this, so it was best to wait for a more formal response from the FCO.
Asked if there had been discussions today with the Embassy, the PMS said that he was not aware of specifics.
Asked if there were any future talks planned between the Prime Minister and President Putin, the PMS replied that clearly, there was contact with the Russian Government at a number of levels.
Put that this issue that the Prime Minister had inherited could become a diplomatic obstacle, the PMS replied that it was a serious issue. Russia was an important partner on many issues and we continued to seek a constructive relationship with them. However, given their refusal to co-operate on this matter, we needed to carefully consider our co-operation on a range of issues.
Asked if the Prime Minister took his predecessor's assessment that this kind of behaviour by Russia could impact on Western and British investment, the PMS replied that Russia had to accept that they had responsibilities as well. We did continue to seek a constructive relationship with Russia, but this was a serious matter, and we had to consider a range of options.
Asked if it would impact on British business investment, the PMS said again that we were considering our options.
Asked what the range of options were, the PMS said that it was best to wait for a response from the FCO.
Afternoon press briefing from 10 July 2007
Asked if there was any response to the Russians saying they were not going to extradite Lugovoy, the PMS replied that we made our position very clear on that this morning.
Put that we had said this morning that we would "pursue the options", and asked what the options were, the PMS replied that it would not be appropriate to start discussing what the options were. Once the Foreign Office had given proper consideration of what they were, they would then respond accordingly.
Put that the Russians have said that legally there are no further options as it was against their constitution, and asked if we were talking sanctions or appeals for example, the PMS replied that it was best if the Foreign Office considered an appropriate response to this very serious matter, and announced it in the proper way.
Put that this morning we were saying that we were considering our cooperation with the Russians, and asked if this was the area that we were looking at, the PMS replied that we were reviewing the extent of our cooperation with the Russians on a number of issues.
Asked if we did not need the Russians cooperation on a number of issues such as Iran, the PMS replied that Russia was an important partner on many issues, and we do seek a constructive relationship. But this was a very serious crime, committed against a UK citizen on British soil. We think it is right that Mr Lugovoy should answer the evidential case against him in a British court.
Asked what we say to the Russians who claim they have not been presented with any evidence, the PMS replied that they had been presented the file by the CPS.
Morning press briefing from 11 July 2007
Asked if there was anything further on Lugovoy case, the PMS no.