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Russia needs to change its behaviour for better relations - May's spokeswoman

Russia needs to change its behaviour for better relations - May's spokeswoman
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart following their talks in Sochi, Russia May 15, 2019. Alexander Nemenov/Pool via REUTERS -
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s relationship with Russia can only change when Moscow changes its behaviour, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said on Thursday, after President Vladimir Putin said he hoped for better relations under her successor.

Putin said he hoped a new British prime minister would work towards improving bilateral relations, badly soured last year by the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England that London blamed on Moscow.

The spokeswoman told reporters: “We have been clear that Russia’s pattern of aggression and destabilising behaviour undermines its claims to be a responsible international partner.

“We will continue to engage with Russia on matters of international security as this is in the UK’s national interest … however the PM has made clear on numerous occasions we can only have a different relationship if Russia changes its behaviour.”

(Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper)

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