Russian investigators launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010 on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds at Bank of Moscow, which functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov.

The bankers have been charged in absentia with improperly loaning $443 million to shell companies which then transferred the cash to Yelena Baturina, Luzhkov's wife and the owner of construction empire Inteco.

Borodin fled to Britain in April 2011 after Luzhkov was fired by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2010. Initially, he denied asking for asylum and said he was visiting the UK for medical treatment.

The Russian Interior Ministry said on Friday: “Russian law enforcement agencies will continue to demand Borodin’s extradition, as he has been charged in absentia with fraud and is on an international wanted list".

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s press-secretary, Natalya Timakova, Itar-Tass: “the current owners of the Bank of Moscow know the businessman and the problems of the Bank of Moscow is faced with due to his activities better than anybody else.”

Timakova said claims of political persecution as the grounds for asylum were specious and that the rule of law should not be flouted in this way. “It is most important to say as loudly as possible about political persecution. That serves as the best guarantee of getting an asylum,” Timakova said.