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Russia's Putin, Britain's May Agree To Meet, Seek Improved Relations

British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to meet soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to meet "in the near future" to try to improve poor relations between Moscow and London, the Kremlin said.

Relations between Russia and Britain have been strained by differences over Ukraine and Syria, as well as by what London says is a sharp increase in flights by Russian bombers near British airspace.

The Kremlin said the leaders in a phone call on August 9 agreed to meet, possibly at the Group of 20 summit in China next month, while working to improve air safety and ensuring that their intelligence services communicate with one another.

Both leaders expressed "dissatisfaction" with souring relations, the Kremlin said, adding that London initiated the phone call.

A May spokeswoman said the leaders agreed that Britain and Russia faced common threats from terrorism and that cooperation on aviation security was a vital part of the counterterrorism effort.

"The prime minister noted the importance of the relationship between the U.K. and Russia, and expressed the hope that, despite differences on certain issues, they could communicate in an open and honest way about the issues that mattered most to them," she said.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP