20 Dec 2018 15:35

Moscow, London equally interested in restoring relations - Putin

MOSCOW. Dec 20 (Interfax) - Relations between Russia and the United Kingdom are currently at an impasse, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"In my opinion, Russian-British relations are at an impasse, and it is in the interests of both countries to get out of this impasse," Putin said at his annual press conference on Thursday.

Russia is interested in fully restoring bilateral relations, and so is the UK, especially businesses, he said.

UK companies are quite active in Russia and want to continue working there, he said.

Putin referred to BP, the flagship of the UK economy and a major shareholder in the Russian oil and gas company Rosneft.

UK companies are interested in this partnership, Putin said, adding that even though he has not discussed this topic with the British prime minister, it regularly comes up within the business community.

The UK was the largest foreign direct investor in Russia this year, with $22 billion, he said.

"This means something, doesn't it? This is partly the repatriation of our capital, because they've been scared there. But, still, the interest is very strong," Putin said.

Hopefully, "common sense will prevail" eventually, he said.