Russia, Britain agree to improve relations

21:42, October 13, 2010      

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) meets Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague as they meet in Moscow October 13, 2010. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia was ready to improve relations with Britain.

"We would like relations between Russia and Britain to develop comprehensively," said Lavrov when meeting with visiting Britain Foreign Secretary William Hague. Lavrov said Russia agreed to cooperate with Britain over the so-called Litvinenko case, which was believed to have strained bilateral relations. Russia refused to extradite a suspect in the poisoning of the former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who underwent medical treatment in Britain.

"There are problems in relations (between Russia and Britain), including problems linked to the so-called Litvinenko case. We confirm our position that we are ready for cooperation on the basis of our laws," said Lavrov as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Before arriving in Moscow on Tuesday, Hague said Russia was an "important partner for Britain on a wide range of international issues, including Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East Peace Process."

The British senior diplomat told reporters on Wednesday his country and Russia remained different on issues related to Georgia, but it only meant the two countries should patiently work together in diplomatic frameworks.

"Where we do differ, I shall say so plainly and clearly, while exploring the scope to address those differences. The door is open to better relations between Britain and Russia; we shall see if a door opens in return," Hague said.

This is Hague's first visit to Russia since taking office in May.

Source: Xinhua


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