Moscow, 11 February 2022 (TDI): Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, held talks with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth Truss in Moscow. The meeting took place on 10 February 2022.
During the talks, the Russian side focused on the unsatisfactory condition of the bilateral relationship. It was highlighted that British officials didn’t have any other option rather a policy of sanctions and provocative rhetoric.
Remarks of Sergey Lavrov
In this regard, Sergey Lavrov emphasized that the unfriendly steps of Britain will lead to an appropriate and proportional Russian response. But, Russia doesn’t want this. Besides, this crisis devalues the significance of bilateral talk as well.
Key Question of Moscow
Along these lines, the meeting focused on the Russian demand for legally binding security guarantees in Europe. Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Minister pointed out that Russia received a written response from US and NATO on 26 January 2022.
But it doesn’t answer the key question of Moscow. The West must answer how are they going to abide by the rule of indivisibility? It is pertinent to note that the rule of indivisibility is enshrined in Russia-NATO Council and OSCE documents.
The principle says that no country is allowed to strengthen its security at the expense of other countries. In addition to that, the Russian side highlighted the non-expansion of NATO and the deployment of weapons near the border of the Russian federation. In the context of Ukraine, the meeting pointed out the significance of the Minsk Agreement.
Weapon Deployment in Kyiv
Subsequently, the meeting also highlighted that the deployment of weapons in Kyiv will bring a destructive impact on the administration’s approach to deal with the crisis and implementation of the Minsk Agreement. Moreover, these steps will risk the situation of Donbas as well.
London’s anti-Russia activities
In the same vein, the Russian Foreign Minister remarked that London’s anti-Russia activities will hurt Russian-British relations. He emphasized that Russian can’t accept the British interference in internal matters.
Accordingly, Sergey Lavrov discussed the newly amended British law. In this context, he stated that Britain can apply this law to any individual or legal entity associated with the Russian state. If this happens, Russia will take this step as an act of aggression.
Russia wants constructive relations
According to Sergey Lavrov, Russia-UK relations are at low ebb. And, this is not the fault of Russia. He further said that Russia wants a normalized and constructive relationship. This is possible only if foreign policy is based on equality and respect for others’ interests. Certainly, relationships are a two-way street.
💬 FM Sergey Lavrov: #RussiaUK relations leave much to be desired, to put it mildly. They are probably at their lowest in many years now. This is not our fault.
🇷🇺🇬🇧 We would like our relations to normalise & get back to constructive progress.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 11, 2022
In brief, the Russian Foreign Minister mentioned that Russia is willing to cooperate with its foreign partners. This includes Great Britain as well. But, it depends upon the extent of London’s willingness to cooperate with the Russian Federation.
Remarks of Liz Truss
As far as UK Foreign Secretary is concerned, she emphasized the de-escalation process for the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis. She further added that Kremlin needs to follow the international agreement and engage in talks.
According to Liz Truss, Russia must respect the sovereignty of Ukraine. She further emphasized that if Russia is not planning to invade Ukraine then the world must see troops withdraw. Of course, the military build-up is an inevitable threat to the sovereignty of Ukraine.
I delivered a clear message to Minister Lavrov that Russia must deescalate, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and engage in meaningful talks.
If Russia is serious about not invading, we need to see troops withdraw. The military build-up is an undeniable threat to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/YdwdKQRlDz
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) February 10, 2022
Earlier, Liz Truss tweeted that war will be disastrous for Russia, Ukraine, and European Security. Indeed, Russia must adopt a path of diplomacy. This is the only way to respect the territorial and sovereignty of Ukraine.
UK-Russian Sanction Legislation
UK government has the power to impose sanctions against Russia. UK Parliament laid this legislation to persuade Moscow to stop its aggressive campaign in Ukraine. James Cleverly, Minister of State for Europe and Climate to the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, has signed the legislation.
Now law: Our tough new sanctions regime against Russia, giving the UK the power to target individuals and organisations of strategic value to the Russian state.
We will use these sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine. Nothing will be off the table 👇 https://t.co/sAA1pHq9Lm
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) February 11, 2022
This legislation allows the UK to impose sanctions against Russia in various sectors including chemical, extractives, ICT, defense, and financial industries. In this regard, Foreign Secretary remarked that ‘the UK wants to uphold the sovereignty and self-determination of Ukraine’.