Medvedev to lead Russian Olympic delegation, meet UK PM

MOSCOW Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:17am BST

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) shakes hands with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang during their meeting in Moscow July 26, 2012. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) shakes hands with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang during their meeting in Moscow July 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Pool

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will lead Russia's official delegation at the 2012 London Olympics and meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, Medvedev's office said on Friday.

Medvedev, heading to Britain on Friday to attend the Olympics opening ceremony, will watch a women's volleyball match between Russia and England on Saturday and meet Russian athletes, his office said in a statement.

Medvedev, Russia's president until Vladimir Putin returned to the top office in May and appointed his protégé to the number two post, will meet Cameron during a reception for foreign dignitaries on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.

Relations between Russia and Britain have been strained over security, diplomatic and human rights issues for years, most prominently the death from radiation poisoning in London of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

The two nations have also disagreed over how to handle the conflict and political crisis in Syria.

Cameron has confirmed Putin will visit Britain next week - his first visit in nine years - and they would watch part of the Olympic judo competition together.

Cameron is likely to press Putin and Medvedev over Syria. Russia has frustrated efforts by Western nations to put more pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to end 16 months of bloodshed, blocking three U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Russia hopes its 436 sportsmen will make it to third place in London's overall medals table with expectations running high for pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva and middle-distance runner Yuri Borzakovsky, among others.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Matt Falloon)

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