UK won’t fix ties with Russia until it stops ‘irresponsible & destabilizing’ activity – May to Putin
Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May once again produced a little bit of déjà vu as she told Vladimir Putin there won’t be any hope of restoring UK-Russia ties unless Moscow stops being “an irresponsible and destabilizing” actor.
During a tense one-to-one exchange with Vladimir Putin in Osaka, Theresa May said “there cannot be a normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible and destabilizing activity.” Predictably, the outgoing British Prime Minister then jumped to her well-worn allegations about the Skripal poisoning affair.
According to her spokesperson, May naturally mentioned “the use of a deadly nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury,” claiming again that the UK has “irrefutable evidence that Russia was behind the attack.”
Returning to the future of UK-Russia ties, May said that “we remain open to a different relationship, but for that to happen the Russian government must choose a different path.”
Putin, however, believes all this is the opposite of the truth. The scandal surrounding the Salisbury incident did sour relations between Russia and the UK, thus damaging economic ties, he had earlier told the Financial Times.
“All this fuss about spies and counterspies, it is not worth serious interstate relations … We need to just leave it alone and let security agencies deal with it,” he insisted.
These “spy scandals” led to a deadlock in relations “so we could not develop our ties normally and support business people,” he said. The UK is interested in fully restoring bilateral relations, just as Russia is, Putin stated. “I hope, at least, that a few preliminary steps will be made.”
He reiterated that the whole Skripal case had little to do with Russia as London has, right to this day, failed to present any credible proof of Moscow’s alleged involvement. “They say, ‘You poisoned the Skripals.’ Firstly, this must be proved.”
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