MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has congratulated Boris Johnson with his appointment as UK Foreign Secretary, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"The Russian foreign minister sent congratulations to his colleague [Boris Johnson] who assumed this post," Zakharova said.
"The book of Russian-British relations has been waiting for the time when not the best page in the history of bilateral cooperation will be turned," she noted. "It could hardly be described as cooperation. If the British side will have the wish and intention (to turn the page) under the new Foreign Secretary, we will support this," the diplomat stressed.
"I can say that we will not miss Mr Hammond (former UK Foreign Secretary)," she concluded.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier on Thursday that Moscow thinks newly-appointed UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will adopt a more diplomatic rhetoric in the future in comparison with some of his previous statements.Answering a question on how Moscow assesses previous harsh statements that Boris Johnson made about the Russian president, Peskov said that Johnson "at his previous post (Mayor of London) did not influence UK’s foreign policy in any way and did not express London’s official position." "The importance of his current position will definitely make him adopt a different rhetoric, a more diplomatic one," he added.
At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman refused to comment on Johnson’s appointment as UK Foreign Secretary. "You should probably address this question to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is wrong to comment on this from the Kremlin," Peskov noted.
Former Mayor of London and one of key Brexit supporters, Boris Johnson was appointed UK Foreign Secretary on July 13 by new Prime Minister Theresa May. Johnson replaced Philip Hammond on this post, who was in turn appointed as UK Chancellor.