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    Hague urges dialogue and diplomacy with Russia

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    Britain and Russia should seek to resolve their differences through "dialogue and diplomacy", Foreign Secretary William Hague has said, as he sought to rebuild the UK's battered relationship with Moscow.


    On his first visit to Russia since taking office, Mr Hague held high level talks with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov aimed at opening up new areas of co-operation between the two countries.


    Anglo-Russian relations have been at a post Cold War low since the murder in London in 2006 of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko and the refusal of Russia to extradite his fellow former KGB man Andrei Lugovoi who is wanted for the killing.


    At a joint news conference, Mr Hague and Mr Lavrov acknowledged that they remained at odds over the case, but insisted that it should not prevent their two countries working together on other issues.


    The Foreign Office has been encouraged by Russia's invitation to Mr Hague to visit after Mr Medvedev and Prime Minister David Cameron said they wanted a "stronger, more productive relationship" when they met at the G8 and G20 summits in Canada earlier this year.


    Meanwhile Mr Lugovoi, who is now a member of the Russian parliament, urged the British authorities to drop their case against him, saying he would never stand trial in a foreign court.