Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to employees of the Lukyanenko National Grain Center in Krasnodar, Russia, Monday, March 12, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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President Vladimir Putin faces a midnight deadline to explain to Britain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to strike down a former Russian double agent who passed secrets to British intelligence.May gave Putin, who faces a presidential election on March 18, until end of Tuesday to explain what happened or face what she said were "much more extensive" measures against the Russian economy.A British public inquiry found the killing of Litvinenko had probably been approved by Putin and carried out by two Russians, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy -- a former KGB bodyguard who later became a member of the Russian Parliament.Putin, who took over as Kremlin chief from Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has denied allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and says the West has repeatedly tried to undermine Russian interests.
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