UK lacks understanding of events in Syria: Russia

Moscow: Russia on Sunday said the cancellation of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's visit to Moscow demonstrates London's lack of understanding of knowledge of events in Syria.

Boris Johnson. PTI

Boris Johnson. PTI

"Moscow needs a dialogue with London not more than it (Britain) needs it (Russia)," the Foreign Ministry said.

"Judging by the statement made by Boris Johnson, he now has different priorities, namely discussions with G7 counterparts of the situation in Syria and Russian support for Bashar al Assad," TASS News cited a ministry statement as saying.

Johnson on Saturday called off a visit to Moscow in the wake of the "Syrian chemical weapons attack". He was set to travel on Monday.

Johnson said Britain called on Russia to do everything possible to bring about a "political settlement in Syria".

According to Russia, the cancellation of the visit was "evident of the fundamental misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of the events in Syria, Russia's efforts to settle that crisis, and the general objectives of diplomacy".

"The decision proves doubts about added value from negotiations with the UK, as on most current problems they do not have own positions or realistic influence on development of international affairs, as it remains "in the shade" of its strategic partners," the ministry said.

Britain has fully supported the US for its response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Idlib province of Syria that left nearly 80 civilians dead.

The US on 6 April unleashed 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shairat airbase that played a key role in conducting the toxic gas attack.

The US as well as Britain blame Russia for being "incompetent" in stopping the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow as planned after the G7 meeting in Italy on 10-11 April.

Johnson's visit, for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, would have been the first visit by a UK Foreign Secretary in more than five years.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the cancellation meant Boris had "revealed himself to be a poodle of Washington, having his diary managed from across the pond".

The government was "quick to blindly follow every order from the Trump White House", he said.


Published Date: Apr 09, 2017 05:37 pm | Updated Date: Apr 09, 2017 05:37 pm


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