May tells Putin end 'destabilizing' acts against UK, allies

May tells Putin end 'destabilizing' acts against UK, allies
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Osaka, (AFP): British Prime Minister Theresa May told Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday that normal relations will not be restored until Moscow ends its "irresponsible and destabilizing" activity, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

The comments came as May met Putin for the first time since the row over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

"She told the president that there cannot be a normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible and destabilizing activity that threatens the UK and its allies -- including hostile interventions in other countries, disinformation, and cyber attacks," the spokesperson said.

May also told Putin, in the talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka, that Britain "has irrefutable evidence that Russia was behind the attack" on the former spy.

"The prime minister underlined that we remain open to a different relationship, but for that to happen the Russian government must choose a different path." 

London has made clear that May's meeting with Putin does not represent a thawing of ties with Russia, despite calls from Putin for the two countries to "turn the page".

Ties have been severely strained since the March 2018 poisoning of the former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury.

The incident led to dozens of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and a breakdown in already fragile relations between Moscow and London.

Russia has repeatedly denied any part in his killing.