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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yushchenko Says Russia Blocking Case

LONDON -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, in an interview published Tuesday, said Russian officials were hindering a probe to determine who poisoned him with dioxin during the 2004 presidential election campaign.

The president told The Times of London that Russian laboratories were refusing to provide dioxin samples even though he had discussed the matter with President Vladimir Putin. He also said Russia was refusing to extradite three suspects.

"Three laboratories in the world were producing dioxin of this formula. It is very easy to determine the origin of the substance; there is nothing magical about it," he told the Times, one of several European dailies that interviewed him. "Two laboratories provided samples but not the Russian side. This, of course, limits the possibilities of the investigation process."

Yushchenko became seriously ill during the campaign and was rushed to a Vienna clinic. No one has been charged over the poisoning.

Yushchenko stopped short of accusing Russian officials of involvement, but said: "This was not a private act. If I respond to that question, then the investigation will have nothing to do. We need to question the people who had direct involvement in the case."