Boris Johnson Warns Putin Over Sergei Skripal Poisoning: Downing Street
Monday 20 January 2020 4:38 AM UTC
London Jan 20: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday used his first official meeting with Vladimir Putin to warn the Russian leader not repeat the 2018 chemical attack that almost killed former spy Sergei Skripal.
Downing Street said Johnson told the Kremlin chief on the sidelines of a summit on the Libya crisis in Berlin that ties between Moscow and London would not return to normal until Russia ended its “destabilising” activities.
Johnson “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,” Downing Street said in a statement.
“He said that such an attack must not be repeated,” Boris Johnson’s office said.
Russia must end its”irresponsible and destabilising activity” if relations between the two countries were to improve, May told Putin during a tense meeting at the G20 summit in Japan.
Russia rejects accusations that officers from its GRU military intelligence agency used a powerful nerve agent to poison Skripal in retribution for his work with British and other Western spy services.
Skripal and his daughter both spent days in a coma but survived and have since gone into hiding.
The incident undermined London’s already difficult relations with Moscow.
Downing Street said Johnson had told Putin “they both had a responsibility to address issues of international security including Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran”.
But the British leader also made clear that this dialogue did not mean London’s relations with the Kremlin were back on track.
“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,” his office said.