13 December 2017
Moscow: 19:59
London: 16:59

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

16.10.2017

First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov’s answer to a media question regarding British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit to Russia

Question: The Foreign Office announced yesterday that Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson would visit Russia. Do you have any comments to make on this?

Vladimir Titov: Indeed, we and our British colleagues are preparing for the visit of the British Foreign Secretary to Moscow. It is unclear though why the British side has forsaken the traditional diplomatic ethics this time. Normally, visit announcements are made by both sides and closer to the date of the visit.

Another noteworthy aspect is London’s self-centered attitude to the purpose of the visit, declared as “engage … where it is in our national interest to do so.”    We believe cooperation should be pursued in areas of mutual interest rather than “following a one-way street.”

The references to significant differences between our countries, including those concerning Syria, unfortunately testify to the lack of fundamental understanding of what goals Russia’s anti-terrorist operation pursues in that country. We would not like to think that this results from the acknowledgement of the futility of the international coalition’s, including Britain’s, efforts against terrorism.

We proceed from the need to establish a substantial bilateral agenda of the ministers’ negotiations with ensuing practical results rather than mere discussions concerning the security at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as declared by the British side.

First of all, we will seek to focus on normalising Russian-British relations through a dialogue that would not be loaded with artificial conditions as well as reservations. The specific topics that require a practical resolution are resuming the work of the Intergovernmental Commission, especially in view of the importance of an economic dialogue for our countries’ business circles. Visa issues continue to hamper bilateral cooperation, and here there are lots of problems and barriers that need to be eliminated.

On the whole, we expect to achieve positive progress concerning bilateral relations and the international agenda as part of the preparations for Boris Johnson’s visit to Moscow. Here, of course, a lot will depend on our partners too. 

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2904029

 




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