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Russia plans to discuss ways to unfreeze ties with UK during Johnson’s visit

December 13, 2017, 16:33 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that it is necessary to unfreeze all the major cooperation mechanisms

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MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Moscow plans to discuss comprehensive ways to unfreeze cooperation with London during British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit to Russia, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"We plan to discuss the current state of and the prospects for Russian-British relations, focusing on ways to normalize them through an equal dialogue based on mutual respect, which should not be weighed down by artificial linkages and clauses," she said. "We believe that it is necessary to unfreeze all the major cooperation mechanisms, as well as to resume relations between various agencies in full. We plan to thoroughly discuss the possibilities to carry out this work with the British foreign secretary," Zakharova added.

At the same time, she stressed that Moscow believed it was insufficient to maintain dialogue only on a few issues which were of interest to London. "It is in line with neither the potential of our bilateral relations nor with our needs," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Johnson planned to visit Russia in April 2017 but suspended the visit following the chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhun.

In September, Zakharova made a Facebook post commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with his British counterpart, which took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. She said that Lavrov had confirmed the invitation for Johnson to visit Russia. In early October, the British Foreign Office said that the visit would take place at the end of the year.
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