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AFP
December 14, 2019

Putin seeks ‘constructive dialogue’ with Johnson

Top Story

AFP
December 14, 2019

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called for “constructive dialogue” with Boris Johnson as he congratulated him on a decisive general election victory.

“I am sure that the development of constructive dialogue and cooperation in various spheres would be fully in the interests of our countries’ peoples and the entire European continent,” he said in a statement.

Earlier Friday the Kremlin said it doubted however that Johnson’s election victory would change Russian-UK ties for the better. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow always hopes an election brings to power voices in favour of “good relations” with Russia but was not sure that would be the case with Johnson’s Conservative Party.

“I don’t know to what extent such expectations are appropriate in the case of the Conservatives,” Peskov told journalists.

Fragile ties between Moscow and London have been shredded after the 2018 poisoning of the former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal, which the UK has blamed on Russia. The incident led to dozens of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions. Russia has repeatedly denied any part in his killing.