UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow for “high-level talks” on Syria and Ukraine in the coming weeks, the UK Foreign Office said Saturday.
Johnson has been a vocal critic of Russia’s foreign policy in the past, particularly regarding its military interventions in Syria and Ukraine.
The Foreign Office said in a statement that the visit, at Russia’s invitation, had “been in the pipeline for some time” following discussions between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September.
“The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made clear that our policy towards Russia is to ‘engage but beware’ and the visit is entirely consistent with this approach,” the statement said.
“Discussions will focus on the UK-Russia relationship and current international issues including Syria and Ukraine, where we continue to have significant differences. This is not a return to business as usual and the Foreign Secretary will continue to be robust on those issues where we differ.”
It added, “We have always been clear that the UK will engage with Russia where it is in our national interest to do so.”
The exact timing of the trip has not been confirmed yet.
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SOURCE: CNN, Laura Smith-Spark