January 19, 2020 / 5:03 PM / a month ago

No normalisation in relations yet, PM Johnson tells Russia's Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attend the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2020. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday there would be no normalisation of the two countries’ relations until Moscow ends its “destabilising activity” that threatens security.

A spokeswoman from Johnson’s Downing Street office said the prime minister met Putin on the sidelines of a summit on Libya in Berlin, where the two discussed the need to address security issues in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

“He was clear there had been no change in the UK’s position on Salisbury, which was a reckless use of chemical weapons and a brazen attempt to murder innocent people on UK soil. He said that such an attack must not be repeated,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

This referred to a 2018 chemical attack on a former Russian double agent in the city of Salisbury that the British government blamed on Russian military intelligence.

“The prime minister said there will be no normalisation of our bilateral relationship until Russia ends the destabilising activity that threatens the UK and our allies and undermines the safety of our citizens and our collective security.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Frances Kerry

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