"We should engage with Russia from a position of strength and we should build the relationships, systems and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict," May stated on Thursday.
May also noted that when dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the West should "engage, but beware."
The relations between Moscow and the West soured after Washington, Brussels and their allies accused Russia of fuelling tensions in eastern Ukraine and introduced a series of sanctions against Russia as a punitive measure. Moscow has denied any involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and introduced countermeasures.
The latest round of sanctions was introduced in the end of December as retaliation for Russia's alleged meddling in US presidential elections, a claim that Moscow has also repeatedly denied.