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UK PM Johnson says return to normal relations ‘very difficult’ for Russia’s Putin

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he did not see how there could be a normalization of relations with President Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Asked during an interview on LBC Radio whether Putin could be welcomed back on the global stage if he were to repent, Johnson said: “Repentance is going to be very difficult for Vladimir Putin now ... nothing is impossible, I suppose, but I just cannot see for the life of me how we can renormalize relations with Putin now.”

Johnson said the world risked a repeat of 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.

“The world basically said, this is appalling. We condemn it, we denounce it -- and we did. And we put on sanctions. But at the same time, we kind of opened negotiations with him about a way forward,” LBC quoted him as saying. “And Putin basically used that as a way of twisting the knife in Ukraine.”

“If the Ukrainians were to do any kind of deal with Putin now, the risk is that he would do exactly the same thing and they know it. So the short answer is no. No renormalization and the UK is very clear about that.”

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