British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed suggestions on Monday that the U.K. had “parked” the issue of the death of Alexander Litvinenko for trade relations.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Cameron said Britain and Russia “disagreed” on the death of former KGB officer Litvinenko, but that the issue remained “very important” for London.
Medvedev reiterated that the Russian Constitution forbid the extradition of Russian citizens.
Cameron is accompanied on the first visit by a British leader to Russia since 2005 by a large business delegation, including BP head Bob Dudley. BP’s Moscow offices were raided by bailiffs two weeks ago.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had suggested before Cameron’s visit that the British prime minister refrain from bringing up the case, which was a major cause in he deterioration of bilateral relations.
Cameron is expected to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his brief visit. Whitehall officials revealed last week that there had been no direct contact between Putin and British ministers or diplomats since 2007.
Cameron also said that Britain supported Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization. Russia is the only major economy outsde the global trade body and has been attempting to join for almost two decades.