Russia, Britain both gain from stronger ties: Cameron

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that both Britain and Russia stood to gain from stronger relations, which were damaged by the 2006 death by radioactive poisoning in London of a Kremlin critic.

"If we can build a stronger relationship, I believe both our countries will gain," Cameron said during a joint Kremlin press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The meeting represented the first direct talks between the two leaders since the 2006 death by radioactive poisoning in London of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a top critic of the Kremlin.

Cameron has come under strong domestic pressure to bring up Litvinenko's case at the meetings, which will also include talks later Monday with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was Russia's president when Litvinenko died.

"Of course it's no secret that there are difficult issues where we differ. We can't pretend that these don't exist. We must continue to have frank discussions about them as we had today," Cameron said.

"At the same time, without wishing these issues away, it is right to rebuild a more effective relationship on those things that are vital to the safety and well-being of people in Russia and in Britain."

© 2011 AFP

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