00:01 GMT26 January 2021
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    Relations between Russia and the United Kingdom hit an all-time low following the poisoning of former GRU operative Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury in March 2018. London immediately accused Moscow of being behind the “attempted murder” – an allegation which the Russian side has strongly denied.

    Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May is considering the possibility of a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putting on the side-lines of the G20 summit in Japan later this month in a bid to thaw relations before her successor comes to power, The Times reported.

    If a meeting were to be arranged, it would be the first high-level encounter since the Salisbury incident, in which former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to what London claimed was the nerve agent Novichok.

    With the investigation still underway, UK authorities rushed to accuse Russia of orchestrating the attack and ordered a massive expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country, thus prompting a wave of coordinated ousters of Russian diplomatic staff across the world.

    Moscow has vehemently rejected the accusations and offered to launch a joint probe into the case, but London refused to accept assistance in the investigation as well as to provide samples of the substance allegedly used against the Skripals.

    May’s representative said that it is too "premature" to discuss such a meeting, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there's no information on the matter yet, and that he cannot comment on it.

    Social media users, however, did have something to say. Many pointed out that it is weird that Theresa May is trying to do more “in the dying days” of being the UK’s prime minister than she did during her term, and suggested that the meeting seems irrelevant now:

    Some noted that if such a diplomatic move were to be proposed by Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn, who has repeatedly called for a dialogue, he would’ve been savaged:

    Others couldn’t help but ridicule the situation and cracked a bunch of jokes, including on the Salisbury fuss, which has on multiple occasions been slammed as a false flag online:

    A vast number of users emphasised that such meetings are an integral part of diplomacy:

    The Times’ report comes slightly over a week after President Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Russia and the United Kingdom needed to “turn the page this page connected with spies and assassination attempts” once a new prime minister is elected.

    Earlier this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Russia is not intending to change its behaviour towards the UK and will continue seeking mutually beneficial relations.

    A spokeswoman for May’s office responded later by saying that Moscow needed to change its behaviour in order to improve relations with London.

    Novichok, Skripal poisoning, poisoning, Dmitry Peskov, meeting, false flag, Salisbury, Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal, Skripal case, Skripals, G20, G20 Summit, president, prime minister, Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Theresa May resignation, Theresa May
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