By EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Boris Johnson) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Boris Johnson, the Foreign secretary, has stated that relations between Russia and the United Kingdom are “not on a good footing,” as he met with Sergei Lavrov, his Kremlin counterpart, in Moscow on Friday.
The two politicians seemed to agree on that part at least, as Lavrov added that the relationship between the countries was “at a low point.”
The Russian foreign minister alleged Johnson of making “insulting” statements prior to the meeting, and he rebuked him for publicly speaking about the issues before the meeting.
Lavrov stated: “You prefer to talk about these reasons publicly, whereas we would prefer to talk about our mutual concerns, not before a mic and at a tribune but directly.”
However, Lavrov conceded that he did “trust” Johnson, who said that “difficulties” in Russia were “a regrettable state of affairs, but it should not preclude co-operation.”
Johnson is the first foreign secretary of the United Kingdom to visit Russia in five years. He said that some good things had come out from the meeting. Both countries had common ground on the North Korea trade, Iranian nuclear deal, and the war in Syria. However, both were still divided regarding Russia and Ukraine’s cyber “meddling.”
Cyber attacking was one of the issues on the cards for the Moscow meeting: the government of the United Kingdom said before the departure of Johnson that he would warn Russia to end its attacks or risk retaliation in kind.