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British politics to be in for ‘gales and earthquakes’ under Johnson rule — Russian MP

The Moscow-London relations will be dominated by 'the same old cemetery despair,' according to the expert

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. British politics is going to be in for "gales" now that Boris Johnson has been elected as the leader of the British Conservative Party and "the same old cemetery despair" will continue to dominate relations between Moscow and London, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"British politics is in for gales and earthquakes, I dare suggest. And the British-Russian relations are in for the same old cemetery despair they have been plunged into by Johnson and the like. It’s going to be no fun," Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia’s Federation Council (upper parliament house), wrote on his Facebook account.

In his words, Johnson’s nomination can be ranked among "the scope of strange things within the domestic agenda of that country." "That’d be all right if Great Britain was engrossed with its Scotland and its Brexit only, not seeking, with or without any reason, to go beyond its national competences. The reputation of the ‘Mistress of the Seas,’ which became history long ago, keeps on stirring the minds of British politicians, including, undoubtedly, Mr. Jonson," Kosachev noted.

Johnson’s eccentricity, according to the Russian lawmaker, "manifested itself in full when he was foreign secretary and is unlikely to fade away now."

Forecasts of other Russian experts following Boris Johnson's election as UK premier 

London’s policy towards Moscow will hardly change drastically under Boris Johnson who will be the next British Prime Minister, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Tuesday.

"As for relations with Russia, one can hardly expect drastic changes for the better," the Russian MP said, recalling that Johnson served as UK Foreign Secretary "during the unprecedented anti-Russian campaign over the so-called poisoning" of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"During his tenure as UK Foreign Secretary, he did his utmost to promote that political theater and reduce Russian-British relations to zero," Slutsky stressed.

In Slutsky's view, "the new British prime minister’s rhetoric in relation to Russia is unlikely to change substantially as compared with Theresa May who will step down as early as tomorrow." "I adhere to the healthy pessimism approach here," Slutsky remarked, adding that he does not rule out the chance for a constructive scenario for London and Moscow.

In general, Johnson is "an eccentric and flamboyant person, which, of course, will affect Britain’s policy, including the situation with Brexit," the politician noted. "We know that Johnson has always been a proponent of a tough Brexit deal," Slutsky concluded.

Head of the Center for British Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS) Elena Ananyeva also thinks that the London-Moscow relations won’t change following Boris Johnson’s election.  

"Despite the fact that Johnson is full of paradoxes, we should not expect a reconciliation with Russia," Ananyeva told TASS.

At the same time, the expert stressed that Johnson’s term in office might depend on the atmosphere within the party. "All will depend on the sentiments among the Tories, because there is no unity in the party, while a few conservatives are even ready to resign from the government," she underlined.

"In the near future, resignations by the people who do not want to serve under Johnson’s premiership will ensue. It is even possible that the Tory dissenters will vote with the opposition in September, if it will put forward a no-confidence motion," the expert is certain. "It is clear that there is a division in the party. Thus it is unclear how long he will stay in power."

Ananyeva emphasized that Johnson’s victory is caused by the conservatives’ determination to deliver Brexit. "Therefore, they elected a leader, who is taking a very tough stance and stands for leaving the European Union in October with or without a deal," she clarified.

About Boris Johnson's election as the Prime Minister

British Eurosceptic Johnson was elected leader of the British Conservative Party on Tuesday, gaining 92,153 votes of the party members while his rival Jeremy Hunt got 46,656 votes in his support.

Thus, as the Conservative leader he will succeed Theresa May as the Prime Minister and will chair the first meeting of the new government on Thursday.