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UK Prime Minister tells Trump to ‘"engage but beware" of Russia

January 27, 3:47 UTC+3 NEW YORK
May, who arrived in the US on a two-day visit Thursday, will become the first foreign leader to meet US President Donald Trump since his inauguration a week ago
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© AP Photo/Matt Rourke

NEW YORK, January 27. /TASS/. Western powers should adopt the "engage but beware" attitude toward Moscow, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said at the annual congressional Republican retreat in Philadelphia.

"When it comes to Russia, as so often it is wise to turn to the example of President Reagan who - during negotiations with his opposite number Mikhail Gorbachev - used to abide by the adage ‘trust but verify’," she told the Republican party. "With President Putin, my advice is to ‘engage but beware’."

May, who arrived in the US on a two-day visit Thursday, will become the first foreign leader to meet US President Donald Trump since his inauguration a week ago. She is expected to meet Trump on the sidelines of the Republican retreat Thursday and then at the White House on Friday.

"There is nothing inevitable about conflict between Russia and the West. And nothing unavoidable about retreating to the days of the Cold War. But we should engage with Russia from a position of strength," said the UK prime minister, who became the first serving foreign leader from outside the US to speak at the event.

"And we should build the relationships, systems and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict," she went on, adding that the West should at the same time "give assurance to Russia’s neighboring states that their security is not in question."

The prime minister called to resist what she described as the Russian leadership’s "claim" that the Eastern Europe "is now in his sphere of influence."

US President Donald Trump has declared on many occasions his readiness to mend ties with Russia. Moscow replied that it would treat any attempt to improve bilateral ties with understanding and readiness to cooperate.

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