Russia’s “irresponsible and destabilising activity” must stop before normal diplomatic relations can resume, Theresa May has told Vladimir Putin in a frosty face-to-face encounter.
The meeting between the two leaders was dominated by exchanges about the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, cyber attacks and meddling in foreign elections.
Mrs May was stony-faced as she shook hands with the Russian president before talks in which she told him the use of the novichok nerve agent in the Wiltshire city was a “truly despicable act”.
She said the UK had “irrefutable” evidence that Russia was behind the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March 2018.
Both survived the poisoning in Salisbury, but in July 2018 Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with novichok which is believed to have been in a perfume bottle.