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Putin says Truss victory in Tory leadership vote ‘far from democratic’

Vladimir Putin has said the way Britain chooses its leaders is “far from democratic”, a day after Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister.

In his first public comments on Truss’s appointment, the Russian president alluded to the fact she was chosen in a leadership ballot by members of her Conservative party, not by the whole country.

“The people of Great Britain don’t take part, in this instance, in the change of government. The ruling elites there have their arrangements,” he told an economic forum in Vladivostok.

Asked about prospects for ties with Britain, Putin said: “We know the Tories’ position on these questions, including on relations with Russia. It’s their business how to build relations with the Russian Federation.

“Our business is to defend our own interests and we will do that consistently, let no one be in any doubt about that.”

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In her previous role as foreign secretary, Truss angered Moscow with what it saw as Russophobic comments and vocal backing for Ukraine, and Russian politicians and media have reacted with criticism and mockery to her appointment.

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