Kremlin expects better ties with UK after Johnson resigns

11 Jul 2018, 03:12

  DF-Xinhua Report

Ex British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. File Photo Xinhua.

Russia is counting on an improvement of relations with Britain after Boris Johnson stepped down as foreign secretary, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

   "President Vladimir Putin said recently that this chapter should be closed at some point ... We are expecting Britain to experience a political enlightenment," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

   Johnson quit on Monday due to disagreements over British Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to leave the European Union, just hours after David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary.

   Talking about Johnson, Peskov said that his contribution to the development of British-Russian relations can be assessed as "very modest."

   Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Facebook Monday that Johnson's resignation showed that "the government crisis is being outlined more and more clearly."

   Johnson repeatedly criticized Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014 and its alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict and atrocities committed in Syria.

   The former top diplomat canceled a trip to Russia in April last year over a deadly chemical weapon incident in Syria. But he still came to Moscow in December 2017 for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

   Johnson also accused Moscow of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury in March.

   It was under Johnson that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the Skripal case.

   Moscow has categorically denied all accusations.