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    Russia's Lavrov urges no politicizing in polonium investigations

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    Russia's foreign minister called on countries where radioactive polonium was found to avoid politicizing the issue.

    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister called on countries where radioactive polonium was found to avoid politicizing the issue.

    Britain, Germany and Russia are conducting an investigation into traces of polonium-210, which have been found on their territories after Russian security service defector Alexander Litvinenko died of radiation poisoning in London. In his deathbed note, he accused the Kremlin of organizing his killing, but the Russian authorities have denied involvement.

    "It is in the interests of all nations, where traces of polonium have been found and which lead to the possible organizers of the crime, to be professional and proceed with the investigation, while avoiding excessive politicization of the issue or nodding in the direction of this or that country," Sergei Lavrov.

    A harsh Kremlin critic, Litvinenko died November 23 in a London hospital after four days in a critical condition.

    Detectives from Scotland Yard and the Russian Prosecutor General's Office have been investigating the case in London and Moscow, where key witnesses, agents-turned-businessmen Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, are based.

    The two men met with Litvinenko in a London hotel shortly before he was hospitalized with symptoms of poisoning, and have themselves undergone radiation checks. Both have denied any involvement in Litvinenko's death.

    Police in Germany found traces of polonium-210 in several locations in Hamburg where Kovtun's former wife and mother-in-law live.

    A representative of the St Pancras Coroner's Court in London said Wednesday the results of Litvinenko's post mortem would not be publicized until the coroner's inquest had been completed, which was unlikely to happen before Christmas.

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