LONDON, December 22. /TASS/. Ahead of his visit to Moscow due on Friday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russia of trying to destabilize European countries and said that bilateral relations cannot be ‘business as usual’.
"Our relations with Russia cannot be ‘business as usual’ whilst Russia continues to attempt to destabilise European states, including Ukraine," Johnson said in a communique obtained by TASS. "The Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West, but it doesn’t have to be that way."
At the same time, he added that the dialogue between Moscow and London was of vital importance for solving important global issues.
"However, it is vital for international security that we do talk to each other - as the consequences of miscommunication or misunderstanding are grave. My visit to Russia comes at a critical time as we need to work together to solve the world’s most pressing global challenges," he said.
Among those challenges, the foreign office named the nuclear deal with Iran and the North Korean nuclear threat.
"The UK and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and its right that we continue to talk to each other," the UK top diplomat said. "We have a relationship with Russia that spans over 450 years. Our similarities and historical links far outweigh our current political disagreements."
The Foreign Office also identified preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as another important area of cooperation.
"The UK and Russia share a common goal of a safe, secure World Cup. Thousands of fans from the UK are expected to travel to Russia. The UK is already working with Russia to help ensure the safety of British supporters at the tournament. This has included regular visits by UK police to Russia and reciprocal visits by Russian police to the UK," reads the Foreign Office’s statement.
The UK Foreign Secretary planned to visit Russia on April 10, but cancelled it on April 9 following the chemical incident in Syria’s Khan Shaykhoun.