Johnson goes to Moscow with the almost collapsed political dialogue

© AFP 2017 / OLI SCARFFГлава Ministers of Britain, Boris Johnson. Archival photoJohnson goes to Moscow with the almost collapsed political dialogue© AFP 2017 / OLI SCARFF

The British foreign Secretary Boris Johnson travels to Russia in extremely cold relations between the two countries, but hopes for dialogue on issues of fight against terrorism, cyberthreats, and cooperation in the preparation of the world Cup. Among other topics there that would like to discuss the British Minister in Moscow — Syria and ways to restore bilateral relations.

On Wednesday, the Russian foreign Ministry reported that the meeting of the Russian and British Ministers is scheduled for Friday, December 22.
At present, the political dialogue between Moscow and London is actually reduced to a technical, primarily visa issues. It is difficult to predict whether the visit of Johnson to change this situation. In some cases, the British demonstrate a constructive attitude concerning successfully passed a recent trip to Moscow, the Deputy head of the British foreign Minister Alan Duncan. The Deputy Minister in early December, discussed with Russian Deputy foreign Minister Vladimir Titov cooperation between the two countries to ensure security ahead of the world Cup, as well as bilateral issues.

However, in recent years, under governments of the conservatives David Cameron and Theresa may, the Russian-British relations are going through hard times. The crisis came because of disagreements on the situation in Ukraine and around the Crimea, and Syria. Political dialogue is almost completely collapsed. London unilaterally froze useful and relevant bilateral forms of intergovernmental cooperation: strategic dialogue in the format of «2+2» (foreign Ministers and defense), energy high-level dialogue, the work of the intergovernmental Commission on trade and investment and the Committee on science and technology. Actually stopped regular consultations between the foreign ministries.

Moreover, the UK government regularly makes hostile statements, which are then fixed in official documents. In particular, in the adopted in 2015, the national strategy for defense and security stated that «Russia has become more aggressive, authoritarian and nationalist government that had opposed itself to the West». Moscow accused of «forming a direct challenge to European security and be based on the principle of the world order».

The last of these statements was the so-called «Banquet speech,» the Prime Minister at a reception at the Lord mayor of the city of London on 13 November. This time Russia is on the scale of «threats to the world community» is no longer placed on a par with other calls, and in the first place. The UK makes bid for global leadership in control of Russia for protection, according to may, the existing world order. The idea of this cynical continues the aggressive actions of Britain in Iraq and Libya have led not to the strengthening of international law, and to the suffering and death of millions of people and destabilize whole regions.

Just a few days before the trip to Moscow the Minister for foreign Affairs erupted a harsh statement against Russia, calling it «the closed, unfriendly, militaristic and anti-democratic», which is clearly beyond the scope of diplomatic decorum.
The current British government chose Russia as an external enemy to distract public attention from the many problems caused by the process of a British exit from the European Union. Although the objective of the British interest given the ambitions of the country becoming a «global Britain» (Global Britain) would be a multi-vector, pragmatic and effective foreign policy, and the path of confrontation is clearly not will help implement the stated goals.

The UK actively supports the EU imposed anti-Russian sanctions regime against which was clearly expressed by the representatives of British businesses operating in Russia, more than 600 companies. With the inclusion in the sanctions list of presidents of the chambers of the Russian Parliament and other representatives of the legislative power, the British themselves had closed the road to maintaining regular inter-parliamentary contacts.

London — one of the initiators of the «counter Russian propaganda» forces of the EU structures. In England this «fight» continues, including dishonest methods: in 2015, Barclays Bank froze the account of the London offices of the MIA «Russia Today», in 2016, the Bank NatWest has tried to close the accounts of RT TV channel in the UK. The government strongly denies any involvement in the actions of the banks, but the statements by British officials and the press campaign against the Russian media is actually talking about attempts to stifle alternative views on political and world events.

The British still refuse to restore contacts between special services, which hinders the development of Russian-British cooperation in combating terrorism. This happens under the pretext of the so-called «case of Alexander Litvinenko». In this case, those circumstances in which it was closed, raise questions. For the Russian side would never be acceptable any decision taken in secrecy and on the basis of evidence not made the subject of a controversial study in open court.

British law enforcement bodies do not hurry to fulfill the requests of the Russian Prosecutor General’s extradition in the territory of the United Kingdom of Russian citizens, against whom in Russia prosecuted (currently more than 40 queries), mainly for economic crimes. In recent years, executed only two queries.

However, the coldness of official contacts compensates for the «people’s diplomacy». Develop relationships at the level of regions and sister cities, exchange experiences, London and Moscow, Volgograd and Coventry Sochi and Cheltenham, Exeter and Yaroslavl, Perm and Oxford and other cities. Only in 2016 in the UK came to the representatives of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Tatarstan, the Kaluga region.Johnson goes to Moscow with the almost collapsed political dialogue© 2017 AFP / Pavel Zelensky «And cut the wires.» Britain is preparing for another attack Russia

Traditionally, a warm dialogue is supported by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church of England. Held in October 2016 visit of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill in London on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox tradition in the British Isles was named a historic landmark in strengthening mutual understanding between peoples of the two countries. The Patriarch was received by the head of the Anglican Church Queen Elizabeth II, held talks with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. In November 2017, the Archbishop of Canterbury visited Moscow, where he met with the Patriarch. They issued a joint statement in defense of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

The peoples of Russia and Britain, unites the historical memory of the joint struggle against fascism during the Second world war. The 75th anniversary of the first Arctic convoy «dervish» was celebrated in 2016 in Arkhangelsk, Saint-Petersburg and Liverpool veterans-sailors. All who served on the Arctic convoys presented the Russian Ushakov medal. The Russian Embassy in London and Consulate General in Edinburgh has handed over more than three thousand medals.Johnson goes to Moscow with the almost collapsed political dialogue© 2017 AFP / Glyn Gclarkii on the wings. The Minister of defence of Britain has declared Russia its war

Despite political turmoil between the countries through cultural cooperation, 2014 was a Russian-British «cross» year of culture 2016 — the language and literature, 2017 — science and education. In London were enthusiastically greeted by the British exhibition: «the Astronauts», «Russia and the arts. The era of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky», «Revolution», «the Scythians.» The Museum of science took the place of the lander «Soyuz» (it returned to Earth British astronaut Tim Peak), and now this unique piece makes a tour of the cities of Britain. With the same success the London tour of the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theaters, 2016 is the Russian film Week. In January, the British rolled out the film by Fyodor Bondarchuk «Attraction».

The mutual attraction between the peoples of great and ordinary people the desire to get closer ahead of the politicians. As noted, speaking at last in November in London of Russian-British economic forum, the Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko, the British will be hard to become «global» without establishing normal relations with many countries, including Russia.