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Russia hopes for ‘new impetus’ in Britain ties: source

Russia hopes that Britain’s new coalition government led by David Cameron will provide impetus for relations between the two countries, a foreign ministry source said Wednesday.

“We anticipate that the coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will give a new impulse to our bilateral relations, including to the resolution of problems that have built up in recent years,” the source told the Interfax news agency.

Russia’s relations with Britain have been chilly since Russia refused to extradite the main suspect in the London murder of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi.

In a recent embarrassing diplomatic scandal, a Russian web site in July published what it said was a video of a British diplomat consorting with prostitutes. The diplomat resigned shortly afterwards.

In turn, Russia is angry over Britain’s refusal to hand over Russian citizens convicted by its courts who have taken refuge in London, such as businessman Boris Berezovsky.