Putin says Britain's May tough on Skripal poisoning case

JAPAN-G20-SUMMIT

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he wanted to improve ties with Britain after they were strained by the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, but said Prime Minister Theresa May was taking a tough line on the issue.

Putin met May at the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday. May's office said she asked Moscow to hand over the Russian suspects Britain blames for poisoning a former double agent and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, England last year.

Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the case. Putin confirmed he and May had discussed the issue but provided no details other than denying that Russia has ever had any aggressive intent with regards to anyone.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (2nd L) attend a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (2nd L) attend a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by STR / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin take their seats for a meeting together during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Mrs May is expected to use the talks to raise the subject of the Salisbury nerve agent attack. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - "KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) British Prime Minister Therasa May (L) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) on the first day of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2019. (Photo by KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28, 2019: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 G20 Summit at the INTEX Osaka International Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28: Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, meets Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, during a bilateral meeting on the first day of the G20 summit on June 28, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Osaka on Thursday for the annual Group of 20 gathering together with other world leaders who will use the two-day summit to discuss pressing economic, climate change, as well as geopolitical issues. The US-China trade war is expected to dominate the meetings in Osaka as President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet on Saturday in an attempt to resolve the ongoing the trade clashes between the world's two largest economies. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(Front-row) Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, French President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman, Japan Prime Minister Shinxo Abe, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, (Second) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Theresa May, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, European Union President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Senegal President Macky Sall, Chile President Sebastian Pinera and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and third row's invited guests attend the family photo during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Ludovic MARIN has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Crown Prince] instead of [King]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28, 2019: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 G20 Summit at the INTEX Osaka International Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
(Front L-R) Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, French President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman, Japan Prime Minister Shinxo Abe, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, (Second row L-R) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Theresa May, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, European Union President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Senegal President Macky Sall, Chile President Sebastian Pinera and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and third row's invited guests attend the family photo during the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Ludovic MARIN has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Crown Prince] instead of [King]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - "TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (3rd R), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (7th R), US President Donald Trump (5th R), British Prime Minister Theresa May (4th R), President of Argentina Mauricio Macri (6th R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attend the first day session of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Turkish Presidency / Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"She expressed her position in a rather tough manner, yes, this is true," Putin said of his meeting with May on the sidelines of the G20 summit, but added that the meeting was "a small, but positive step in the right direction".

"I am convinced we need to restore full-scale relationships," Putin told a briefing.

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