British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told CNN he “wholly approves” of US President Joe Biden bringing “tough messages” to a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Asked by CNN’s Clarissa Ward whether he agrees with Biden’s assessment of Putin being a "killer," Johnson said he “certainly” thinks “President Putin has done things that are unconscionable.”
Johnson said he is “fairly certain that Putin authorized the poisonings in Salisbury that led to the death of an innocent and a member of the British public and the attempted poisoning of the Skripals.”
Johnson pointed to the case of jailed and poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who he says is “in prison on trumped-up charges” and is “effectively being tortured,” an example of what happens to Putin’s enemies.
He also said there can’t be a normalization in relations between the US and Russia until Moscow “changes its behavior.”
More on the Biden-Putin summit: The US and Russian leaders are currently not expected to hold a joint press conference following their high-stakes summit in Geneva, Switzerland Wednesday, two US officials familiar with the matter said.
The final plans are still being formulated and could change. But officials putting together the day's events said that as of Friday, no joint press conference was expected. On Saturday, the White House confirmed Biden would not join Putin after the summit for a press conference and instead the US President will hold a solo presser. As for the nature of the meeting, a White House official said they expect it to "be candid and straightforward."
CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins contributed reporting to this post.