British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 19 to not repeat the 2018 chemical attack in Salisbury that almost killed former spy Sergei Skripal. It was the first official meeting of the leaders on the sidelines of Berlin Conference on Libya after which Downing Street said that Johnson has said Putin that ties between Moscow and London would not return to normal until Russia ended its “destabilising” activities.
According to the statement released by the Downing Street, Johnson was “clear” that there had been no change in the UK's position on Salisbury and also called it “reckless use of chemical weapons”. The UK PM has also said that “such attack must not be repeated” because it was a “brazen attempt” to murder innocent people in Britain.
Downing Street released a statement saying, “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.”
According to international reports, Russia rejected accusations that its GRU military intelligence agency's officers used a powerful nerve agent to poison Skripal in retribution for his work with British and other Western spy services. Both, Skripal and his daughter spent days in a coma and went into hiding after surviving. It was this incident which has undermined Britain's already tense relations with Russia.
Downing Street's statement said that Johnson has told Putin that both leaders had a responsibility to address the issues of international security including Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. However, UK PM has also made it clear the first official dialogue exchanged between the leaders does not mean relations between London and Moscow have returned to normal.
Downing Street statement said, “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."