Theresa May will meet Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in China – a meeting agreed during a telephone conversation. The conversation was the first since Mrs May became Prime Minister. A Kremlin spokesman said both leaders had said they were unhappy with the current state of relations between the UK and Russia. The pair agreed to work on an arrangement between their agencies on issues relating to aviation security.The relationship between the UK and Russia has been strained over the past few years by the situation in Ukraine and Mr Putin’s backing of the Syrian regime. There are also tensions over what Britain says is a sharp increase in flights by long-range Russian bombers near British air space.
The Prime Minister and President agreed that British and Russian citizens faced common threats from terrorism; and that co-operation on aviation security in particular was a vital part of the international counter-terrorism effort.
A Downing Street spokesman
The Kremlin said Tuesday’s phone call was initiated by Britain. It also said that Mrs May confirmed Britain would be involved in this month’s ceremonies marking 75 years since the arrival of the first British World War Two convoy in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk. A Downing Street spokesman confirmed the two leaders had spoken during the afternoon, adding that Mr Putin had “congratulated (Mrs May) on her appointment and wished her success”. Meanwhile, Mr Putin has also been trying to repair ties with Turkey, meeting the country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St Petersburg. The relationship between the two soured after a Turkish F-16 jet downed a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in November.