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British Foreign Minister in Russia to thaw ties

Last Updated: Monday, November 2, 2009 - 15:22

Moscow: David Miliband was on Monday making the first visit by a British Foreign Secretary to Russia for five years, seeking warm relations plunged back to a Cold War chill by a series of bitter rows.
Shortly after arriving late yesterday, Miliband met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, with more talks to follow today, the British embassy said. He was also due to meet business and civil society leaders.

Miliband`s trip to Moscow coincides with the third anniversary of the fatal poisoning in London of former spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, a crime that led to an unprecedented degradation in ties.

Writing in his blog, Miliband admitted the differences but said a better relationship was essential for both countries.

"We don`t always see eye to eye with Russia, but we share the same global challenges and it is important that we work on them together."

Russia`s Ambassador to London Yuri Fedotov declared in the Guardian newspaper that "the visit is a chance to reset our relationship”.

But in a separate interview with Russia`s Interfax news agency, Fedotov said the two sides would essentially have to agree to differ on a string of disputes.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, November 2, 2009 - 15:22
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