75 years after they joined forces to crush Hitler’s Nazis, Russia and Britain are barely on speaking terms at an official level. Now, Moscow’s man in London says political contacts are basically non-existent.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin blames the policy of “deterrence and dialogue” towards Russia chosen by NATO and rigidly adopted by Britain. In an interview with Chinese broadcaster CGTN, the diplomat also explained that the British tendency to use his country as a political football, or bogeyman, makes Moscow reticent about investing energy in trying to improve relations.
“NATO has taken a position as a leader of the western world – a policy of deterrence and dialogue towards Russia, and London would like to be a leader in these efforts.” Kelin pointed out, highlighting the influence of the US-led alliance on London’s outlook. “But there is 95% deterrence and only 5% of dialogue.”
The ambassador added that Moscow is worried about another wave of accusations against Russia “in the recent days in the media here,” referring to the fallout from the so-called ‘Russia report’ on alleged political interference. “It of course provides little appetite in Moscow to develop dialogue.”
Kelin described the state of relations between the UK and Russia as difficult. “Political contacts are close to being frozen, and this is very bad. I have seen some expression of intentions to review this policy to restart a relationship in the political field. But all of this is being damned by this attack once and once again,” he said.
“The government in London should be realistic. It should understand the benefits of cooperation and working with Russia but not against Russia.” the ambassador emphasized. “Deterrence is the policy that has been, as I said, taken up against Russia, and of course it is not the cooperation that we have all envisaged.”
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