Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that his country is open to cooperation with NATO as a two-day summit of the Western alliance in the UK.
Putin said, “We have repeatedly expressed readiness to jointly resist real threats”, according to Russian news agencies.
He named these common threats as “international terrorism, local armed conflicts (and) the danger of uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
Putin has never made any secret of his resentment at NATO expansion into former Soviet republics that he sees as belonging in Moscow’s zone of influence.
Russia is “obliged to view NATO expansion, the development of its military infrastructure close to (its) borders as one of the potential threats to our country’s security,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Putin has signed a controversial law allowing independent journalists and bloggers to be labelled as “foreign agents.”
Russia first passed legislation allowing media organisations to be slapped with the label in 2017 after Kremlin-funded RT television was declared a foreign agent in the United States.
Earlier in August, Putin had said that Russia was looking forward to stepping up a dialogue with the United States over disarmament and strategic stability.
US President Donald Trump also in the UK for NATO summit.
The UK goes to the polls on December 12, with Johnson hoping to secure a majority to be able to push through his divorce deal to take the country out of the European Union.