It is understood that Britain is making plans to seek the extradition from Russia of two suspects identified as the perpetrators of the Salisbury poisonings.
Scotland Yard detectives are said to be confident that they have identified the would-be assassins and an extradition request is part of the plan to renew pressure on the Kremlin over the nerve agent attack.
The move is set to reignite the diplomatic row that erupted after the poisoning in March of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia, 33.
Whilst the Skripal’s survived the poison attempt, Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, died last month after coming into contact with a perfume bottle that contained novichok. It is thought to have been discarded by the Skripals’ attackers.
It is thought that the Russian suspects were identified after detectives examined CCTV footage with records of people entering the country around the time of the attack. Investigators are understood to have trawled through passenger lists.
It’s now understood that an extradition request is in the process of being formalised by the Crown Prosecution Service. Nevertheless, Whitehall sources have said that it was one option and no final decision had been taken to issue a warrant.
Any request is almost certain to be rejected out of hand by the Russian authorities, who have not so far commented.