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Russian businessman, close associate of Boris Berezovsky found dead in Britain

Russian businessman, close associate of Boris Berezovsky found dead in Britain

However, counterterrorism officers were leading the investigation "as a precaution because of associations that the man is believed to have had".

Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was discovered dead late on Monday at an address in Clarence Avenue in suburban south-west London.

"There is no evidence to suggest a link to the incident in Salisbury", the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

There is no evidence linking his death to the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, who remains in a critical condition alongside his daughter after the pair were slipped a suspected nerve agent.

Police said that they believe they know the man's identity and that his family has been notified, but that officials are still awaiting a formal identification.

Nikolai Glushkov, who received political asylum in the United Kingdom, was found dead at his London home on Monday by friends and family.

His cause of death is now unclear.

Russian Federation has dismissed accusations of any involvement in the Skripal case as "nonsense", saying it would only cooperate with the British investigation if it receives samples of the nerve agent believed to have been used. It is said to have been created by the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Read alsoSkripal poisoning: Trump says ready to condemn "Russia or whoever it may be " Berezovsky was once one of the most powerful businessmen in Russian Federation and was instrumental in Vladimir Putin's rise to power in 1999.

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Billionaire and business oligarch Berezovsky later ran afoul of the Kremlin when he publicly denounced Putin and brought a lawsuit against his ally, fellow billionaire Roman Abramovich.

In an interview with The Guardian after Berezovsky's death, Glushkov said: "Boris was strangled".

"He had, after all, long claimed President Putin ordered the 2006 poisoning with radioactive polonium-210 of one of Berezovsky's protégés, Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB agent".

"You have the deaths of Boris and Badri over a short period of time".

He later said he was told at the time that he would be killed on his way to court.

Russian media reported that Nikolai Glushkov, 69, the former deputy director of airline Aeroflot, had died.

He added: "too many deaths [of Russian emigres] have been happening". But by then, Berezovsky had moved to London.

Glushkov, who worked for Berezovsky's LogoVAZ vehicle company, was charged with money laundering and fraud and spent five years in jail from 1999.