Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary will be making a trip to Russia, to meet Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. Johnson believes that “You've got to beware of what they are up to”, the prime minister has also reinforced that the meeting will not be based around “business as usual” and more on an “engage but beware” principle. Johnson also added, “we don’t want to get into a new Cold War. That’s something London and Washington are completely at one on”. Even though these comments may seem rather controversial, they are extremely important issues which need to be resolved such as dealing with the crisis in Syria and Ukraine, unfortunately, they both share different views on each issue, so negotiating may be harder than expected. An FCO spokesman said, “Discussions will focus on the UK-Russia relationship and current international issues including Syria and Ukraine, where we continue to have significant differences”, then continuing on to say, “The foreign secretary will continue to be robust on these issues where we differ”. It is further to confirmed when the two will meet; “Details of precise timings will be confirmed in due course. A potential visit has been in the pipeline for some time, with the Prime Minister and President Putin discussing this when they met in China in September 2016”.
Johnson will be the first minister to visit Moscow on an official visit since 5 years ago. However, just 5 months ago he was accused of “Russophobic hysteria”, due to the calling of protests outside the Russian embassy because of the Aleppo bombing. Even so, Johnson said there is “no case for relaxation”, as he believes that the EU needs to be responsible and take more care over Russia’s actions. Putin himself is currently under question as the UK makes careful moves, after the accusations based on the hacking of the US presidential election. Michael Flynn, who is the US national security advisor resigned due to allegations of leaking information to the Russian ambassador, supposedly then covering up the conversations, between the two. Furthermore, documents from the CIA showed that Russian operatives did, in fact, interfere in the US elections, which then questions whether Russia intervened in the EU referendum vote, even more, so tensions are rising on whether the outcome of the next German and French elections will be legitimate. Overall, there is an uncertain relationship, between Russia and UK, due to trust issues, at the moment, however, the meeting with Johnson is hoped to change this perspective.