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Volume 563: debated on Monday 13 May 2013

The Prime Minister travelled to Russia on Friday 10 May as part of a series of visits to G8 capitals ahead of the G8 summit in Lough Erne. The meeting with President Putin took place in Sochi, the venue for the 2014 winter Olympics. Security for the games was one of the topics of discussion.

As the House is aware, co-operation with the Russian authorities over security issues has been a sensitive subject since the death of Alexander Litvinenko. Following a lack of progress with the Russian authorities in the investigation in 2007, the Government took a number of measures, dubbed the “Litvinenko measures”. Since then we have had no contact with the Federal Security Services (FSB).

For the forthcoming Sochi Olympics, we must work with the Russian authorities on their security preparations for the games. This will help assure the safety of British nationals at the event. The Prime Minister agreed with President Putin that a limited channel of communication with the relevant Russian authorities will be set up for the specific objective of preparing for security issues arising from the Sochi games. This will include contact with the FSB, specifically and solely for the purposes of ensuring the safety of British visitors and participants in the Sochi Olympics.

There has been no change to the measures announced to Parliament by the previous Government in 2007. The Government continue to seek justice in the Litvinenko case and believe that the two suspects identified by the Crown Prosecution Service should face trial in the UK.