Russian president, UK premier speak by phone ahead of G20 summit


Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson discuss climate change, Afghan settlement, Iran nuclear deal

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by phone ahead of the G20 summit, a Kremlin statement said Monday.

The two leaders discussed issues of climate change, the situation in Afghanistan and the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking about bilateral ties, the two leaders expressed the mutual opinion that Moscow and London would have to establish cooperation in a number of areas, “despite the existence of known problems.”

In a separate statement, the UK prime minister’s press office said Johnson “welcomed the steps Russia has taken in recent days to commit [to] net zero [carbon emissions] by 2060.”

Johnson agreed that “the UK’s current relationship with Russia is not the one we want,” pointing out among remaining “significant bilateral difficulties,” including the alleged poisonings in Salisbury in 2018 of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and differences over Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister said that as fellow permanent members of the UN Security Council and major world economies with a long, shared history, the UK and Russia have a responsibility to work together to tackle shared challenges like climate change and safeguard international agreements like the Iran nuclear deal.

“The leaders also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of any recognition of the Taliban being conditional on their behavior, including respect for human rights,” the statement said.

On Oct. 19, President Putin announced that he will take part in the G20 summit via video conference because of the coronavirus situation in Russia.

G20 leaders will gather in Rome, Italy on Oct. 30-31 for the summit.


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