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Russia's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will meet in London on Wednesday
Russia's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will meet in London on Wednesday with the British chancellor to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation and upcoming reforms to the global financial system.

"A meeting is planned with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling and also participation in a conference Financial Services in Russia in the City," a statement by the Russian embassy in London said.

Kudrin, who is also deputy prime minister, will also participate in a meeting the Russia-U.K. inter-governmental committee along with Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.

In a sign that relations, strained following the death of former Russian security officer in London and a row with joint oil venture TNK-BP, a Russian delegation, which also includes Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia's Central Bank first deputy chairman, will take part in the first meeting of the financial dialogue forum.

"Financial dialogue - is a new form of cooperation. Both sides are interested in discussing questions, which are on the agenda of the G20 and G8 meetings," a source in the delegation said.

Relations between Britain and Russia were strained by the diplomatic fallout following the murder of Litvinenko in London in November 2006 and Moscow's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the U.K.'s main suspect in the case.

Bilateral ties deteriorated further after the closure of British Council offices in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg over tax and status violations early last year.


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