British Foreign Secretary Cancels Moscow Trip; Russia Responds “No Big Loss”
It appears efforts to improve British relations (especially trade, post-Brexit) with Russia are on hold as British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has cancelled his forthcoming trip to Moscow…
I will now not travel to Moscow on Monday 10 April. My priority is talks w/ my #G7 counterparts about Syria and Russia’s support for #Assad
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 8, 2017
Johnson had planned to travel to Russia Monday on a trip intended to start fresh dialogue with the Russian government (which would have been the first visit by a UK foreign secretary in more than five years), but following this week’s actions he said in a statement.
“Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally,”
“We deplore Russia’s continued defence of the Assad regime even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,”
“We call on Russia to do everything possible to bring about a political settlement in Syria and work with the rest of the international community to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated.”
“My priority is now to continue contact with the U.S. and others in the run-up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April – to build coordinated international support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process.“
Russia’s reported response to BoJo’s change of plans: cancellation of Boris Johnson’s trip is not a big loss. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says by phone…
“There’s an impression that our western colleagues live in their own parallel reality, in which they first try to build joint plans single-handedly and then — again single-handedly — change them, inventing absurd reasons,”
Johnson’s reasons for the canceling the trip are “absurd”
“Unfortunately, stability and consistency have long ceased to be the hallmark of Western foreign policy”
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