Cameron, Putin to Talk Syria Crisis Before G8 Summit

LONDON, June 12 (RIA Novosti) – The UK prime minister and Russian president are expected to discuss the events in Syria at a meeting on Sunday in London ahead of the G8 summit.

David Cameron said Vladimir Putin will hold talks with him at Downing Street ahead of travelling to Northern Ireland, which will host the summit of the world leaders on June 17-18.

The talks on Sunday will also focus on the Russian-British trade and economic cooperation. The issue was also discussed when Cameron arrived in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for talks with Putin in May.

“We all want… a peace conference, a peace process and a move towards a transitional government,” BBC quoted Cameron as saying. Cameron’s official spokesman said earlier the talks were aimed at “cranking up the pressure on all sides in the conflict in Syria.”

Cameron stressed that Britain has not taken any decision to supply weapons to Syrian opposition. “As I said, we are giving them assistance, we are giving them advice and we are giving them technical help,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday the West’s attempts to arm the Syrian opposition hinder efforts to hold an international conference on Syria.

Cameron also said although London and Moscow still disagree on the Litvinenko case, this does not hamper the development of bilateral ties.

Relations between Russia and Britain plunged to a post-Cold War low after the case of the murdered former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London. Litvinenko turned critic of the Kremlin and moved from Russia to Britain in 2000 where he claimed asylum. He was poisoned with the toxic radioactive isotope Polonium-210 in 2006, shortly after he was granted UK citizenship.

The UK says it wanted to extradite a Russian, Andrei Lugovoi, who it suspected of involvement in Litvinenko’s death, but Moscow has refused to hand him over.

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