Boris calls Putin ahead of COP26 and says UK’s current relationship with Russia is ‘not the one we want’

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Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The Prime Minister spoke to Russian President Putin this afternoon ahead of the COP26 Summit.

The Prime Minister said he welcomed the steps Russia has taken in recent days to commit net zero by 2060.

However, the PM expressed his hope that Russia will raise that target to achieving net zero by 2050 as well as making further progress on ending deforestation and an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution.

President Putin expressed his regret that he would not be able attend the COP26 Summit in person in the light of the coronavirus situation in Russia.

The Prime Minister was clear that the UK’s current relationship with Russia is not the one we want.

He said significant bilateral difficulties remain, including the poisonings in Salisbury in 2018. The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of Ukrainian sovereignty.

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 behaviour, including respect for human rights.

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