The Speaker
Thursday, 30 November 2023 – 04:39

Putin calls for new UK Prime Minister to work towards improving bilateral relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he hopes Britain can turn the page on the Skripal incident.

In March 2018, former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal was poisoned with the novichok agent, thought to have been developed by Russia.  

Speaking in St Petersburg on Thursday, Vladimir Putin told the media he hoped that a new British prime minister would work towards improving bilateral relations. Relations were badly soured by the poisoning in the English town of Salisbury, an event that Moscow denies any involvement in. Following the incident, world leaders from France, Germany, the US and Canada all backed the UK and agreed that the Russian government was involved in approving the poisoning.

A letter from the leaders last September read: 

“We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, reiterate our outrage at the use of a chemical nerve agent, known as Novichok, in Salisbury on March 4.”

“We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU.”

The comments from Vladimir Putin come the day before Theresa May’s resignation, and before the start of a leadership contest to elect the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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