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Litvinenko Analyzed Ivanov Visit for British Intelligence, Report Says

Sergei Ivanov, who now serves as the Kremlin's chief of staff. Dmitri Abramov

Former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko had worked for Britain's MI6 to analyze the visit of a top Russian security official to London, a news report said Friday.

The newspaper The Independent cited a request for Litvinenko to analyze a confidential letter as evidence of the agent's ties with intelligence services that may have been a motive for suspected foul play behind his 2006 death.

MI6 supposedly asked Litvinenko, who had become a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin's rule and fled to Britain in 2000, to provide "expert analysis" on a confidential Foreign Office report that detailed a visit by Sergei Ivanov — then a senior official at the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB — to London in 2000.

The four-page summary of the visit in a confidential diplomatic telegraph distributed to British embassies described private talks between Ivanov, who now serves as the Kremlin's chief of staff, and British intelligence and defense officials about topics including the war in Iraq, the republic of Chechnya, China and global terrorism.

Litvinenko's friend and Russian historian Yury Felshtinsky, who lives in the U.S., said: "I do not know what Alex did with this document but he told me it was given to him by MI6."

"Everyone knows Alex worked for MI6," Felshtinsky added.

The coroner investigating Litvinenko's death, Sir Robert Owen, had planned to publish some classified documents that were supposed to shed more light on Litvinenko's ties with MI6. However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague successfully fought the planned publication in court, which on Wednesday ruled that releasing the documents would damage Britain's national security.

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