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Johnson tells Putin normalization of bilateral relations now is impossible

Johnson also stressed that his country’s position on the Salisbury incident was unchanged

LONDON, January 19. /TASS/. Normalization of relations between the United Kingdom and Russia is impossible as long as Russia threatens the UK and its allies, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Russian President Vladimir Putin during their brief contact on the sidelines of the international conference on Libya in Berlin, as follows from his office’s press statement on Sunday.

"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," the statement says.

Johnson also stressed that his country’s position on the Salisbury incident was unchanged. "He was clear there had been no change in the UK’s position on Salisbury, which was a reckless use of chemical weapons and a brazen attempt to murder innocent people on UK soil. He said that such an attack must not be repeated," it reads.

If the British version of the affair is to be believed, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent. Notably, Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury said it failed to trace the origin of the substance that poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripals.

The British prime minister also told the Russian president that "they both had a responsibility to address issues of international security including Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iran.".