MOSCOW (AP) _ British officials handed over two volumes of formerly secret documents to Russian archivists Thursday, saying they should improve the two countries' understanding of each other.

``The publication of these documents is an important step in the British Embassy's effort to bring transparency to government affairs,'' Ambassador Andrew Wood said. ``I am pleased to take part in sharing documents with my Russian colleagues.''

The documents relate to Soviet-British relations from 1968-72, and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1972-75. They are part of an 11-volume set of foreign policy documents prepared for publication by the British Foreign Ministry, the embassy said.

Wood gave the volumes to Igor Lebedov, director of the archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry.