December 22, 2017
BORIS Johnson left Russian diplomats speechless today when he batted aside concerns about increasing tensions between the two states and highlighted crisps sales.



Boris Johnson is currently in Moscow visiting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Mr Lavrov admitted relations between the two states are “at a low”, with Mr Johnson agreeing “things are not easy between us”.
But Mr Johnson did follow this up by expressing his joy at the increase in exports of "kettle crisps to Russia” - a comment the bemused Russian interpreter decided not to translate.
Mr Johnson said: "I'm delighted to say that there are increasing exports of British kettle crisps to Russia and 300 Bentleys have been sold this year in Russia - not, I believe necessarily to employees of the Foreign Ministry but nonetheless a sign of progress."
Boris Johnson in Russia: UK-Russo relations at a low level Lavrov warns Britain
Theresa May sent her own warning and said she had a “very simple message” for Vladimir Putin.
Referencing cyber-warfare and European interference, the PM said: “We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.”
Mr Johnson's visit comes at a time when relations between London and Moscow are strained by differences over Ukraine and Syria as well as by allegations, which Russia flatly denies, of meddling in the politics of various European countries and of backing cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.
Boris Johnson in Russia: UK-Russo relations at a low level Lavrov warns Britain
Boris Johnson in Russia: UK-Russo relations at a low level Lavrov warns Britain
Before the trip Mr Johnson said: “Our relations with Russia cannot be 'business as usual' whilst Russia continues to attempt to destabilise European states, including Ukraine.”
While travelling to Moscow on Thursday, Johnson told reporters that Britain disapproved of many things that Russia had done. He singled out its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, what he called Moscow's destabilising of the western Balkans, and its cyber activities.
But Mr Johnson also stressed his desire for London and Moscow to cooperate where they have common interests, saying it was vital for international security that the two countries talk to each other because not doing so risked potentially dangerous misunderstandings.
He said he wants to discuss working with Moscow to preserve the Iran nuclear deal and the threat posed by North Korea, as well as security arrangements for next year's FIFA World Cup which will be held in Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said yesterday the decision to scale back British-Russian dialogue had been London's and had been groundless and untimely.
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