- Sputnik International, 1920
The latest news and stories from Russia. Stay tuned for updates and breaking news on defense, politics, economy and more.

PM Johnson Misses 'Vital' Opportunity by Postponing Conversation With Putin, Labour Says

© AP Photo / Matt Dunham / British Union flag waves in front of the Elizabeth Tower at Houses of Parliament containing the bell know as "Big Ben" in central London
British Union flag waves in front of the Elizabeth Tower at Houses of Parliament containing the bell know as Big Ben in central London - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
LONDON (Sputnik) - UK Labour lawmaker and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed a "vital diplomatic opportunity" when he rescheduled a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Monday, Johnson told lawmakers that he will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as he can amid reports that the phone conversation was cancelled. The cancellation was reportedly caused by a UK police investigation into a string of parties held at Johnson's official residence in Downing Street during the COVID-19 lockdown that found serious "failures of leadership and judgment."

"Amid a dangerous crisis threatening peace in Europe, a vital diplomatic opportunity is missed so the PM can scramble to clear up the mess he's created at home", Lammy tweeted on Monday evening.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab tried to downplay the cancellation, stressing situations like this happen all the time among prime ministers and presidents.
However, ex-Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw disagreed with Raab, noting that calls between UK prime ministers and other world leaders "are not moved all the time like this" and said it was yet more evidence of "congenital systemic chaos in Downing Street".

"This was a big deal. It was a particularly big deal for Boris Johnson to have his press people announce that he, Johnson, was not just talking to a head of government but a head of state in Vladimir Putin", Straw told Sky News.

On Monday, when the UK-Russia top-level call was initially set to take place, Putin had a call with French President Emmanuel Macron instead to discuss the situation around Ukraine and Russian proposals on security guarantees.
© REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS / British PM Boris Johnson in Downing StreetBritish PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street
British PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2022
British PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street
In recent months, Western countries have accused Russia of a troop buildup near the border with Ukraine and of planning to attack the neighbouring country. Moscow has dismissed the claims, which it considers to be a pretext for NATO military deployment near Russia's borders and plans to expand further eastward.
Tensions escalated last week, as NATO began deploying additional troops to the Russian-Ukrainian border in anticipation of the alleged invasion. Russia said it deems the move to be a pretext for a provocation and for Kiev’s plans to sabotage the Minsk agreements on the resolution of the conflict in the breakaway Donbass region.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала