By Matthew Barrett
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A sensitive topic was the matter of the murder in London in 2006 of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, and the Russian government's refusal to extradite the man suspected of the murder, Andrei Lugovoi – now state deputy in the Russian Parliament, the State Duma.Relations have been strained between Russia and this country in the years since the murder – and this is the first visit to Russia by a Prime Minister since 2005. Mr Cameron touched on the Litvinenko murder in a speech to a university in Moscow. The Guardian reports:
"In his speech on Monday morning, Cameron tackled this head on for the first time on Russian soil. He said: "Our approach is simple and principled. When a crime is committed, that is a matter for the courts. It is their job to examine the evidence impartially and to determine innocence or guilt. The accused has a right to a fair trial. The victim and their family have a right to justice.""
On a lighter note, President Medvedev told Mr Cameron he "would have been a very good KGB agent". Medvedev, who should know these things – his Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, having been a rather successful agent, responded to Cameron's recalling of a trip to Russia on his gap year. Mr Cameron said:
"'I took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Nakhodka to Moscow and went on to the Black Sea coast. There, two Russians – speaking perfect English – turned up on a beach mostly used by foreigners. They took me out to lunch and dinner and asked me about life in England and what I thought about politics. When I got back I told my tutor at university and he asked me whether it was an interview. If it was, it seems I didn't get the job!"
Mr Medvedev joked:
"I'm pretty sure that David would have been a very good KGB agent. But in this case he would never had become Prime Minister of the UK."
In an alternative universe, perhaps the KGB agent Kameronovich would have been successful in Russia. Perhaps he, and not Putin, would have enlivened the Kremlin with macho photo opportunities in wild outdoor conditions…
In fact, how do we know Mr Cameron isn't a KGB agent?