Moscow pins hopes on Boris Johnson for better UK-Russia relations

Moscow, July 14 (IANS) Russia hopes the new British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will open a new chapter in relations between Russia and Britain, an official said on Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zajarova said she hoped bilateral relations, which until now had been tense, would improve.

“The book with UK-Russia relations has waited for this page, which is not exactly the best in history, to turn for a long time,” Efe news quoted her as saying.

Zajarova acknowledged that Russia “would not miss” previous Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and ex-Prime Minister David Cameron.

Both had supported dealing with Russia with a firm hand, within the framework of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, she said.

“If with its new Foreign Secretary the UK has the desire and intention to open a new chapter, we will support him,” she added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that Moscow is hopeful of better relations following Theresa May’s inauguration as Prime Minister.

“The current state of relations does not correspond to British or Russian interests,” said Peskov, who had previously underlined that contact between Russia and Britain had stagnated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday congratulated May’s appointment in a telegram in which he expressed his wish to “maintain a constructive dialogue”.

Relations between the countries soured after the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in November 2006.



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