Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Says Meeting With British PM Could Be Step to Moving Past Skripal Row

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a published interview he believed his meeting with Britain's Theresa May at the G20 summit this week could help repair relations after the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

He said that the incident was an issue between intelligence agencies and should not be allowed to damage relations and economic interests shared by Britain and Russia.

Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, Putin said May may have — given that she is soon to step down as British leader — more scope to take long-sighted decisions about rehabilitating ties with Moscow.

"All this fuss about spies and counterspies, it is not worth serious interstate relations. This spy story, as we say, it is not worth five kopecks. Or even five pounds, for that matter," Putin said in the interview.

"I think that both Russia and the UK are interested in fully restoring our relations. At least I hope that a few preliminary steps will be made," he added.

"I think it would be easier for Mrs. May, maybe, because she is leaving and is free to do what she thinks is right, important and necessary and not to bother about some domestic political consequences."

Bilateral relations plunged to post-Cold War lows last year when London blamed Moscow for poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury.

Moscow denies involvement in the attack, which prompted the biggest wave of diplomatic expulsions between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.

British prosecutors have charged two Russian military intelligence officers, known by the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, in absentia with attempted murder over the attack.

May last met Putin at a G20 summit in Argentina in November, when the Russian leader approached her informally.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more