Lavrov, Miliband voice hope for improving Russia-Britain ties

18:50, November 02, 2009      

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said that Moscow and London could be able to settle all the existing divergences in bilateral relations with future political interactions.

"I expect that the political contacts that began yesterday and continue today will facilitate progress in all directions and create conditions for settling the remaining issues," said Lavrov when starting talks with his visiting British counterpart David Miliband on Monday.

"Today we have a good opportunity to continue the dialogue that has been intensifying lately and we are satisfied with that," news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying.

Lavrov also noted successful cooperation between Moscow and London on the international arena.

"We are closely interacting with Great Britain on a number of key international issues," he said.

Miliband in response said he hoped their talks will help add "depth and drive" to bilateral ties.

The British foreign secretary, who began his two-day visit to Russia on Sunday, was the first top British diplomat to visit Moscow in recent five years.

He held an informal meeting with Lavrov late Sunday before Monday's formal talks. He would also meet with politicians, businessmen and civil society representatives.

Relations between Moscow and London have been tense over a number of issues such as the dispute on the murder of exiled former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in London, as well as Russia's decision to close down offices of the British Council in the cities of St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

However, diplomats from both sides recently have expressed willingness to resolve lingering key problems, while initiating a "reset" of bilateral relations.

Source: Xinhua
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