Russia-UK Breakthrough

Russia-UK Breakthrough

The tumultuous relationship between the tetchy states plunged to freezing levels last month after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was slammed for creating "Russophobic hysteria". However, both parties have put some of their differences and their outlandish rhetoric aside following a top level phone call on Sunday.

Both the British Foreign office and Russian Foreign ministry have issued comments insisting they will continue to have dialogue. A UK foreign office spokesman said: “The Foreign Secretary spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “He reiterated the UK’s concern about the grave humanitarian situation in Syria, and urged Russia to use its influence with the Syrian regime to stop the assault on Aleppo and allow aid into the city. “[Mr Johnson] also expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, and continued Russian support for the separatists. “Both Ministers agreed on the need for ongoing dialogue on key international and bilateral issues.”

Meanwhile, Mr Lavrov said Russia was ready to bury the hatchet if the UK also contains its outbursts. He said: "[The Russian side] is ready to reciprocate if the UK government changes its policy on Russia and shows actual evidence of the intent to build a partnership based on mutual interests."

The spat came after Mr Johnson took the highly unusual step of calling on members of the public to protest outside the Russian embassy in London. His bizarre request which he declared in the Commons, in relation to the five-year civil war raging in Syria, prompted a stern response from Moscow. At the time Mr Johnson said: "There is no commensurate horror, it seems to me, amongst some of those anti-war protest groups. I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian embassy. Where is the Stop the War Coalition at the moment? Where are they?"

However, Mr Johnson was later chastised for his attempts to create a storm of protest with Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov slamming the comments. He said: "The Russophobic hysteria regularly whipped up by various members of the British establishment for a long time now has been quite underwhelming. Therefore, the frenzy that has gripped... Boris Johnson, who accuses Russia of committing every deadly sin, is a storm in a teacup full of muddy London water."

News of the thawing in relations come following the election of Vladimir Putin ally Donald Trump who was elected as US president two weeks ago. Mr Trump, who takes office in January, has repeatedly stated he does not want to remove Bashr Al Assad from power which appears to be in accordance with Russian policy. 

Last week Mr Assad, an eye surgeon who trained in London, described Mr Trump as a "natural ally" because of his commitment to fight "terrorists."

Three years ago it was revealed Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after 'civil unrest' began.


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