Tory MP Henry Smith risked setting off another Cold War on Friday morning with his short and sharp analysis of the Russian president.

The Crawley MP was likely to have been responding to reports that Putin had dismissed Britain as "just a small island" that no one pays attention to.

The snub was reported to have been made in St Petersburg where world leaders, including David Cameron, have gathered for the G20 summit.

This morning Cameron hit back at the Russian leader, telling reporters: "Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience.

"Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.

Putin's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that he was responsible for the comment, insisting it did not reflect the reality of Russia's views on its "positive" relations with the UK.

Cameron met Putin for a one-on-one meeting in the early hours of this morning in which the prime minister said he had a "candid conversation" about the crisis in Syria. He also said he "raised concerns" about gay rights in Russia.

SEE ALSO: Cameron Hits Back At Putin: 'Britain Invented Most Things Worth Inventing'

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    Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waits for US President to arrive for a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg on September 5, 2013. World leaders meet at a G20 summit in Russia where Obama will strive to bridge deep divisions over his push for military action against the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)