Russia on Tuesday accused United Kingdom of flaring up "Russophobic" sentiments over Moscow's refusal to extradite businessman Andrei Lugovoi, an accused in the ex-spy murder case.
"The decision taken by London confirms a flare-up in Russophobic sentiments in British society and political circles, which have recently spread to its foreign policy," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website last night.
"Given this situation, (British Foreign Minister David) Miliband's statement that the UK would like to see Russia as a partner on the international scene looks naive," it said.
"Officials in London have to realize that provocative acts will not go unanswered and cannot help entailing consequences for Russian-UK relations in general," the Russian Foreign Office said.
The United Kingdom on Monday expelled four Russian diplomats in retaliation to Moscow's refusal to extradite Lugovoi.
Meanwhile, in numerous commentaries over London's expulsion of four Russian diplomats and complicating visa procedures for the government officials local media has ridiculed Miliband's demand to amend the Russian constitution to hand over criminals to foreign states.
"It is easy to say for the UK, which has no constitution of its own. At the same time more than once it has refused to extradite criminals even to its allies like the US and France," state-run Radio Mayak noted.