MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The level of Russian-British relations is coming close to zero, and it is time to stop exacerbating relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting with his British counterpart Ben Wallace on Friday.
"It is our first meeting in recent years. Regrettably, the level of our cooperation is close to zero and is about to cross the zero meridian and go into the red, which we do not want. Therefore, I do hope for the opportunity to discuss the most pressing issues with you, without ratcheting or rising even higher the temperature in relations between Russia and the countries of the NATO bloc. And especially with the UK, taking into consideration the historical experience of our cooperation and military interaction," Shoigu said.
"Nowadays, we see that attention is getting more and more concentrated, excessively concentrated, on the issues which, in our view, could have been resolved quite calmly, in the dialogue between all the countries, without threats of any sorts of sanctions," the Russian minister said.
"I believe there are already no words left in both English and Russian dictionaries that can define these sanctions. Among them are ‘catastrophic’, ‘shocking’ and ‘destructive’. A lot of different words," Shoigu stated.
The Russian defense minister pointed out that before the meeting he had carefully studied the speeches of his British counterpart along with the speeches of his colleagues.
"Sadly, we still see the threat of sanctions across the line in every speech. I would not like our conversation today to be a continuation of such interviews," Shoigu said.