Boris Johnson to visit Moscow as part of ‘robust’ dialogue’

Boris JohnsonImage copyright PA

Boris Johnson is to visit Moscow later this year as part of efforts to build a more constructive dialogue with Russia on global security issues.

The foreign secretary has been invited by his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Items on the agenda are likely to include North Korea, Iran and security for next year’s football World Cup.

The Foreign Office said the UK had “deep differences” with Russia but the visit was part of a policy of “sustained and robust engagement”.

Mr Johnson was due to visit Moscow in April, but the trip was cancelled following a deadly chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Syria.

Face-to-face diplomacy

The atrocity was blamed on President Assad’s regime, which is backed by the Russians, although the Syrian government has denied using nerve gas.

The attack prompted a military response from the US, which bombed a Syrian air base it suspected of storing chemical weapons.

The UK’s relations with Russia have been strained for several years but the two foreign ministers have met on several occasions this year, most recently at the UN General Assembly in September.

The Foreign Office said the bilateral visit, a date for which has not been set, did not mean a return “to business as usual” with Russia following its annexation of Crimea, which prompted EU sanctions, its wider actions in Ukraine and its continued support for the Assad regime.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Boris Johnson will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov

But it said it was vital in the UK’s national interest to keep “channels of communication” open.

“Russia is a fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council and there are global security issues we need to discuss from Iran to North Korea,” Mr Johnson said.

“Of course we will continue to challenge Russia’s approach where we disagree, whether that is Russia’s actions in Syria or its aggression towards Ukraine. My visit will provide an opportunity to talk about these issues and more, face-to-face.

“Our relationship with Russia is not straightforward. That is all the more reason to be talking to Russia – to manage our differences and cooperate where possible for the security of both our nations and the international community.”

View the original article:

As well as government meetings, the foreign secretary said he would also speak to figures from Russian society and the “next generation”.

In the same category are

Minimum alcohol price law to be unveiled in Wales Image copyright Woodkern/Getty Images A law to set a minimum price for selling alcohol in Wales is being unveiled later.Ministers believe tackling e...
British IS fighters ‘must be killed’, minister says Image copyright Alamy The "only way" to deal with British IS fighters in Syria is "in almost every case" to kill them, the minister for internationa...
The Houses of Parliament – a building catastrophe? Image copyright Getty Images This autumn, MPs are due to debate whether they will have to leave the Houses of Parliament while it undergoes essentia...
Japan PM Shinzo Abe promises to deal with North Korea threat Image copyright Reuters Image caption Shinzo Abe called the snap election in September Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to "deal fi...
How real is the threat of returning IS fighters? Image copyright Getty Images Driven out of their de facto capital of Raqqa after three brutal years, IS fighters have lost much of the territory the...
Why I’ve delayed the date of my death Image copyright Northpix Ltd Colin Campbell was scheduled to die on Thursday 15 June 2017. He was due to travel to an assisted death clinic in Switz...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….


If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles


Comment on this story