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UK defense chief hints on talks between PM Johnson and Russian President Putin

Ben Wallace also called a really welcome start a bilateral between Biden and Putin

LONDON, June 19. /TASS/. British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace hinted on a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to a report from Britain’s SkyNews television news channel.

"Boris Johnson is clearly open to meet anyone where there is an important step to be made and stepping towards normalizing relations with Russia will obviously and hopefully come, but it comes following certain actions," SkyNews quoted Wallace as saying.

Britain’s military official also said that "we've always got to offer people a path out, a path to improvement and I think that bilateral between [US] President [Joe] Biden and President Putin is a really welcome start."

The summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United States took place at the Villa La Grange in Geneva on June 16.

SkyNews also quoted Ben Wallace as saying about a possible meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Johnson: "I don't want a permanent friction between Russia and the West. That is not in anybody's interest."

"It is not in the interests of the Russian people, it's not in the interests of the economy of Russia, it's not in the interests of my population and constituents either," Wallace stated.

On June 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized the importance of rejection of ungrounded allegations against Russia by UK officials during his phone call with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

According to an official statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, "During the conversation, [the Russian side] noted the unsatisfactory state of the bilateral relations, the responsibility for which lies entirely with London. Russia underscored the importance of rejection of ungrounded allegations, unproven by a single fact, and of provocative rhetoric in the international dialogue, as well as absence of alternatives to London’s return to the track of respectful and equal communication."

"The selective nature of contacts, practice by the UK, which implies contacts only on issues that interest London, is unacceptable in the normal diplomatic practice," the statement added.