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Code: 279616
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Date: Monday, September 05, 2016
Russia leader expresses intent to broaden relations with UK
President Vladimir Putin has told British Prime Minister Theresa May that Russia wants to restore ties between the two countries, the Kremlin says.
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President Vladimir Putin has told British Prime Minister Theresa May that Russia wants to restore ties between the two countries, the Kremlin says. 

The two leaders met for the first time on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China on Sunday and discussed a number of issues including global security, the Syrian conflict and drug trafficking.

The meeting was "good, constructive and open," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Putin sent a clear and unequivocal signal: we are interested in the restoration of our relations, we are interested in renewal of talks in all spheres, including the most sensitive ones," he said.

Relations between London and Moscow have deteriorated in past years over their differences on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Britain has been one of the most fervent supporters of Western sanctions against Russia.

The two countries have also been involved in a series of aerial confrontation, with Britain scrambling its jets to intercept Russian bombers on the ground that they were approaching UK airspace. 

In June, Putin accused the British government led by former prime minister David Cameron of being "overconfident" and "superficial" in a referendum that saw the UK vote to split from the European Union.

The Russian leader warned that the move to leave the EU "will have consequences for the United Kingdom, for all of Europe and for us, of course."

When Cameron resigned as prime minister and May became prime minister in July, Putin said he was ready for "constructive dialog" with the new British leader.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with British PM Theresa May on September 5, 2016 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China. (AFP Photo)

On Sunday, the Russian leader said he was pleased to meet the new British prime minister in person and expressed hope that Anglo-Russian relations would improve with May now at the helm.

"I hope that we will be able to advance our bilateral relations to a higher level than they are at today," Putin said.

May, on her part, said London and Moscow needed to hold dialog and consult with one another on “complex and serious areas of concern and issues” despite differences in their interests and objectives.

The British prime minister also said she wanted "frank and open relationship" between London and Moscow to resolve the disputed issues between the two sides.


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