Andrey Lugovoy - Political Career

Political Career

Following the interest in Lugovoy in regards to Litvinenko's death, on September 15, 2007, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), announced that Andrey Lugovoy would be in the second place after Zhirinovsky on his party's candidate list for the Duma election. This meant that Lugovoy could become a Russian MP in December 2007 and acquire parliamentary immunity. Lugovoy himself confirmed that he would take part in the following Duma election and on September 17, 2007, during a Liberal Democratic Party of Russia meeting, has also said he would like to bid for the Kremlin run. On reacting to Litvinenko's death, Zhirinovsky said: Any traitor must be eliminated using any methods. If you have joined the special services to work, then you should work, but to betray, to run away abroad, to give up the secrets you learned while working — all of this looks bad. Sergei Abeltsev, Zhirinovsky's former bodyguard and State Duma member from the LDPR, also stated: The deserved punishment reached the traitor. I am sure his terrible death will be a warning to all the traitors that in Russia the treason is not to be forgiven. I would recommend to citizen Berezovsky to avoid any food at the commemoration for his crime accomplice Litvinenko.

On December 10, 2007, British Ambassador in Moscow Tony Brenton voiced regret over Andrey Lugovoy's election to the State Duma, saying: "It is a pity that a man wanted for murder gains political recognition. It does Russia no good at all to have Lugovoy there in the parliament. It continues the suspicion. If he steps a foot out of Russia he will be arrested. We want him."

In December 2008 Lugovoy voiced support for harsher laws against dissent in Russia. He told the Spanish newspaper El País: "If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated Do I think someone could have killed Litvinenko in the interests of the Russian State? If you're talking about the interests of the Russian State, in the purest sense of the word, I myself would have given that order." He then clarified himself: "I'm not talking about Litvinenko but about any person who causes serious damage." He named President Saakashvili of Georgia and the KGB defector Gordievsky as examples.

On March 13, 2009 LDPR announced they plan to nominate Lugovoy for the elections of Mayor of Sochi. However, on March 24, Lugovoi announced his decision not to run and instead to remain an MP in the State Duma.

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