Boris Johnson arrived Moscow for important talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Despite the countries may have many differences, but also much to work together on the Middle East and North Korea.
The British foreign secretary will meet his counterpart Lavrov in Moscow for face-to-face talks. Johnson’s visit comes two weeks after Alan Duncan, a junior minister in his department, made the first ministerial visit to Russia in two years. According to the top British diplomat, ‘It’s no secret relations are not good’ but both countries need to discuss many important issues and the latest developments on Syria and North Korea.
“My visit to Russia comes at a critical time as we need to work together to solve the world’s most pressing global challenges,”
said Mr Johnson.
The relations between the two countries have soured in recent years after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, and its support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Boris Johnson will encourage Mr Lavrov to cooperate on shared challenges, including dealing with the threat posed by North Korea and preserving the Iran nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump has called “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
The foreign secretary had noted before his trip to Moscow that relations between the UK and Russia “haven’t been so bad for a very long time”, and he is expected to rebuke the Kremlin for its cyber attacks against the West.
During the meeting Lavrov agreed “it’s no secret relations are not good”, adding:
“You prefer to talk about our differences publicly, we prefer to do it face to face.”
Besides the talks with Mr Lavrov, Boris Johnson also plans to discuss measures to protect thousands of British soccer fans travelling to Russia for next year’s World Cup, according to the Foreign Office’s statement.