Medvedev tells Cameron all issues on the table at talks

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday that all issues were on the table for the two sides' first bilateral meeting since 2005.

"I expect this visit to be productive and to touch on all aspects of Russian-British relations both in the bilateral format and in international affairs," Medvedev told Cameron at the start of the Kremlin meeting.

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.

Cameron will also seek to boost business ties and defend the interests of British firms operating in Russia, including the troubled energy giant BP.

"I think we should have many discussions about our bilateral relationship, particularly the business and trading aspects that seem to be making good progress," Cameron told Medvedev at the start of the talks.

Britain is currently Russia's fifth trading partner and Cameron said on his arrival that his delegation hoped to ink a slate of new deals.

"But I also hope we will able to discuss the forthcoming G20 about the world economy and also many of the international issues where Britain and Russia need to have further discussions," Cameron said.

© 2011 AFP

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