The new Cold War: Cameron attacks Putins appalling murder of Litvinenko - but Russia brands Britains bombshell on spys death a gross act of provocation  A war of words is ignited by a report into Alexander Litvinenkos murder which blamed two Russian spies and said Putin probably ordered the death Cameron said Britains relationship with Russia, necessary to confront the Syrian crisis, would be maintained with clear eyes and a very cold heart But Moscow mocks Britain in reply, dismissing the report as British humour while the ambassador declares it a whitewash 

A furious diplomatic row between Britain and Russia ignited today after an independent probe into the killing of Alexander Litvinenko said President Putin had probably personally authorised the 2006 killing.

Mr Litvinenko - who had accused the Russian president on his death bed - was killed by two FSB spies who slipped radioactive polonium 210 into his tea pot at a Mayfair hotel in central London, Sir Robert Owen said today in a major report.

Prime Minister David Cameron today said the report outlined what happened was absolutely appalling but he admitted the Syria crisis meant Britain had to have a relationship with Russia albeit one with clear eyes and a cold heart.

David Cameron, pictured today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, has condemned the appalling murder but admitted he still needs to work with Russia. A spokesman for Vladimir Putin, pictured today in Moscow, blasted the report as a provocative act

Alexander Litvinenko, pictured shortly before his 2006 death, accused the Russian president of involvement in his killing while on his death bed in London

Mr Cameron said the last Labour government had reacted properly to the killing in 2007 once the state sponsored nature of the assassination had become clear.

 This report confirms what weve always believed, and what the last Labour government believed at the time of this dreadful murder, which is it was state sponsored action.
David Cameron reacting to the public inquiry into the killing of Alexander Litvinenko today 

He said the Government had done the right thing today by ensuring Interpol warrants were in place the assassins and freezing their UK assets.

But as the war of words escalated, a spokesman for Putin said such a quasi-investigation such as the one being talked about today undoubtedly is able only to still further poison the atmosphere of our bilateral relations. 

Mr Litvinenkos widow Marina urged Britain to impose sanctions on Russia has a result of the findings which today prompted the Russian Ambassador to claim there had been a whitewash to cover up the incompetence of the UKs security services.

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko said it was unacceptable for Britain to link Russia to a state-sponsored assassination.

In his report, inquiry chairman Sir Robert today said he was sure two assassins Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun placed the polonium into the teapot knowing it would kill their target.