Theresa May to hold talks with Vladimir Putin at G20 summit in Japan

26 June 2019, 16:12 | Updated: 26 June 2019, 17:56

Theresa May will hold talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Japan on Friday, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister's official spokesman said the meeting did not represent a normalisation of ties with Moscow.

"The prime minister's position on Salisbury and Russia's wider pattern of malign behaviour is well-known," he said.

"As she has said, we remain open to a different relationship but that can only happen if Russia desists from activity that undermines international treaties and our collective security, like the attack in Salisbury.

"This meeting is an important opportunity to deliver this message leader-to-leader to ensure the UK's position is fully understood.

"Of course, there are matters of international security where we continue to engage with Russia when it is in our national interest to do so.

"This meeting does not represent a normalisation of relations."

The talks in Osaka will be the first face-to-face meeting since the last G20 summit in Argentina at the end of 2018.

Relations between London and Moscow fell to a low not seen since the Cold War after the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last year.

Britain blamed Russia for the nerve agent attack, but Moscow has denied any involvement.

Mrs May secured the expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats from over 20 countries in response to the attack.