Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire from the Conservative Government and from within his own party, over his stance on Russian involvement in the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, on 4th March.
23 Russian diplomats expelled from London following the incident. Moscow then denied all involvement, and is expelling 23 British diplomats in retaliation.
The Labour leader believes it is highly likely that the Russian state was directly involved in the attack, but refused to directly point the finger at the Putin, until there was solid evidence of this. Boris Johnson was happy to lay the blame squarely at the newly elected Russian President’s door.
Today, in an interview to be aired on The World at One he will say that the UK should “not shoot from the hip” and wait for the finding of a scientific investigation into the poisoning.
In the interview, Corbyn said: “Would I do business with Putin? Sure. And I’d challenge him on human rights in Russia, challenge him on these issues and challenge him on that whole basis of that relationship.
“You have to deal with people who are in the position they are as head of state,” he said. “Russia is a huge country that suffered more than anyone else in the Second World War and we have to recognise that there has to be a relationship with Russia. Robust, yes, assertive, yes, demanding yes, but there has to be a relationship.”