Europe’s top rights court on Tuesday ruled that Russia was responsible for the 2006 killing in London of the dissident former agent Alexander Litvinenko, a verdict swiftly rejected by Moscow.

Litvinenko died after drinking tea laced with the radioactive isotope Polonium 210 at a London hotel, in a case that has weighed on relations between Britain and Russia ever since.

Before dying, Litvinenko issued a message blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning, and opponents have seen the killing as one of the first in a line of Kremlin-backed assassination plots against dissidents.