Medvedev Says Niet

It was hoped that when Medvedev took over from pugilistic Putin, there might follow a thaw in the icy relations between Great Britain and Russia that have continued for several years now and included some pretty petty behaviour on both sides.

However as Gordon Brown sought to receive assurances from the Russian president on a number of important issues close to his heart, he received little - well nothing to be precise - in the way of compromise.

Top of the list was the request that Andrei Lugovoi, prime suspect in the murder of Litvinenko, should be extradited to stand trial in Britain. The Prime Minister also requested that the British Council offices in St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg be reopened, which were closed during in the course of the two countries' disputes. Finally Mr Brown sought assurances that the Russians would stop causing difficulties for BP employees working in Russia. He received a firm 'niet' in each case.

It looks like Britain and Russia are on course for plenty more unpleasantries in the months to come.


not shown