Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope during a meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May that bilateral relations between Moscow and London would reach a higher level in both political and economic spheres. In turn, May pointed out that there were differences between the polices of the two countries that hopefully could be overcome through dialogue.
"Russia and the United Kingdom need to pursue closer ties. Our two countries share several strategic interests, most importantly in countering terrorism and seeking an end to the violence in the Middle East," Leigh stressed.
May, formerly the UK home secretary, was widely expected to maintain a hard line on Russia after becoming the prime minister, as she was the minister responsible for the inquiry on the death of former Russian Federal Security Service employee Alexander Litvinenko, which found the Russian government culpable. She was also one of the main supporters of the EU sanctions against Russia.
The Russian president met the new UK prime minister in person for the first time on the sidelines of the September 4-5 G20 summit in China.