17:59 GMT +326 March 2017
    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on the first day of the Conservative party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, central England, on October 2, 2016

    Britain Needs to Get Off High Horse on Russia

    © AFP 2017/ Adrian DENNIS
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    Finian Cunningham

    For a small nation with a has-been imperial past, British rulers appear to still suffer from the delusion of strutting around the globe as if on a high horse.

    Now less of a splendid steed and more like a broken-down hobby horse rocking on its overblown pretensions.

    Senior British government figures are reportedly due to visit Moscow in coming weeks, supposedly to normalize relations between the two states. But given the haughty attitude expressed this week by the British government towards Russia it does not bode well for an improvement in diplomatic ties.

    Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson and defense minister Michael Fallon were telling media reporters of the agenda they would be bringing to Moscow.

    Russia, they said, will have to "keep its nose" out of European elections and show that it "can be trusted." Johnson and Fallon trotted out a litany of alleged Russian transgressions, without providing a scrap of evidence to substantiate. Just haughty assertions articulated with the usual irritating British accent of self-assuredness.

    Supposed transgressions ranging from plotting a coup in Montenegro, destabilizing the Western Balkans, and hacking into the US elections, as well as those of Germany and other European states.

    "The Russians are up to no good," asserted Johnson to reporters with his inimitable buffoonery and bombast. While the equally supercilious Fallon added: "There is a growing body of evidence now that there has been a step-change in Russian behavior and Boris will leave them in no doubt as to our firmness on that."

    Funnily enough, the British ministers didn't see fit to detail what this alleged "growing body of evidence" was.

    Earlier, last month, British defense secretary Fallon accused Russia of "weaponizing misinformation" and of trying to "destabilize NATO."

    To which the BBC quoted the Kremlin as saying in cool and measured response: "We're very disappointed that minister Fallon is so aggressively disposed; we are sure that such an accusation against our country is unfounded. We don't see how a minister that has such a senior post can carry out such unfounded accusations that are based on nothing at all."

    Or in short, this British senior cabinet member is an unprofessional dolt.

    The Kremlin added graciously: "We hope that in time, Great Britain will in some way take a constructive approach that will lead to a normalization in relations between our two countries."

    That, in essence, is the problem, as Russia calmly pointed out. British politicians are evidently stuck in a Cold War mindset, whereby Russia is cast as some kind of geopolitical miscreant. How is it possible to normalize relations when Russia is viewed with such pejorative contempt?

    Another germane problem is Britain's political culture of overweening arrogance and hypocrisy. So, Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson is coming to Moscow to see "if Russia can be trusted" and to "show our firmness." What utter British arrogance.

    Before his untimely death last month, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin would often remind his British and Western counterparts of their own states' criminal depredations from illegally interfering in the affairs of foreign countries, from wars in Iraq and Libya, to covert regime-change operations in Syria and Yemen.

    It is incredible, not to say nauseating, to hear Britain accuse Russia of "aggression" in Ukraine, when it was Britain and other NATO members that plunged that country into the abyss of violence with their support for the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014.

    It was Russia's diplomatic intervention in Ukraine that produced the Minsk accord to settle the conflict, but which has been continually undermined by American and British support for the Kiev regime and their Neo-Nazi brigades in their onslaught against the people of eastern Ukraine.

    British troops are instrumental in the unprecedented build-up of NATO forces in the Baltic states and other eastern European countries bordering with Russia. And yet British ministers talk of Russia "needing to show that it can be trusted."

    A normalizing of relations between Western powers and Russia is indeed urgently needed to avert the catastrophic dynamic of military tensions. Britain's top diplomat Boris Johnson this week said that the West did not want a new Cold War with Russia.

    "We are not in a new Cold War with Russia," said Johnson. "Neither in the UK, nor our friends in the rest of the EU, nor in Washington, is there any appetite for a new Cold War."

    Well, if Britain wants to avoid a new Cold War, then it should halt immediately from making unfounded, provocative accusations against Russia, alleging that it is "up to no good." Britain and other NATO members should stop winding up unnecessary tensions in eastern Europe with hysterical claims of "imminent" Russian invasion.

    Attaining normal relations with Russia, if that is what Britain truly wants, is not possible based on one side's reckless slandering of the other with unfounded claims. Especially when that side – Britain – is guiltier than any other in inflicting transgressions against international law.

    This is not about engaging in moral relativism. It is about British authorities coming to terms with their own past and present egregious violations of international law. Their illegal war in Iraq caused over one million deaths; their ongoing material support for Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen is causing millions of children to be starved there. How can any nation with such blood on its hands dare to lecture others over alleged violations, and based on such little evidence?

    Moscow sights
    © Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sisoev
    The trouble with Britain is that not only are its ruling politicians stuck in the old Cold War of demonizing Russia, they are stuck in an even more distant era of empire when Britain ransacked and raped the globe out of some kind of pernicious superiority complex.

    In today's multipolar world, international relations need to be negotiated on the basis of equality of nations.

    British politicians coming to Moscow riding on high horses of self-righteousness and moral superiority belong to a bygone era of empires and serfs. It is not going to work.

    And if Britain persists in such delusions of grandeur, it is in for a rude awakening. Little Britain needs to get off its hobby horse and walk like the rest of us. But don't hold your breath for that to happen.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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    • sapper
      "Little Britain" indeed. The poor little British political mice squeaking away in the wilderness hoping to impose their shambolic lies on Russia and don't realise that Russia is laughing at them!!!
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyiv
      Russians don't have anything to laugh about. Has Sputnik forgotten to mention that russia is being pilloried in the International Criminal Court for its double invasion of UKraine? Sad russians.
    • avatar
      Time to remind UK about Falkland Islands and why are they zealously hanging onto Islands thousands of miles from there territorial waters? with no British peoples on those Islands.
      Boris also needs a challenge from Putin to have 3 of the best divisions from each nation in a mock war with there best equipment in say Nigeria and see how they pan out.
    • avatar
      Mishka your living in 2011-2015 era pre September of that year.
      When Western strategy was to mock,and attack at all levels in a pathetic attempt to replicate and inflict the Ukrainian inferiority complex! on the Russians of course it woefully failed but you keep on living in the past as your Nazi Ukrainian future is non-existent best your worry about fixing your problems without worrying about Russia there doing just great thanks for your concern.
    • avatar
      Never mind the Brits: they'll soon come down their high horses - when they finally see that no one pays attention to the screams of BoJo and Fallon and other delusionals. Their time is past.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyiv
      Why does Ivan think Ukrainians have an inferiority complex? Ukraine is one of richest coutries in Europe where resources are concerned. Ukrainians know themselves to be infinitely better than barbarian russians who invade and murder their neighbours. Thus they are conscious of what it is to be the bottom of the pile like russians are, and to pity poor russians for their status as inhabitants of the most notable pariah state in the world. How is the trial of russia at the International Criminal Court progressing?
    • avatar
      I couldn't agree more. The idea that Britain has anything to teach Russia, or any position of moral superiority from which to preach, is an absolute joke. On the contrary, it is Britain which has much to learn from Russia, its superior in every imaginable way.
    • avatar
      Mishka glad you asked read on and please refrain from kicking your dog.
      Kiev admits no Russian invasion, but Donbass remembers Ukrainian invasion
      March 8, 2017 - Fort Russ News -
      Antifascist - translated by J. Arnoldski -

      The Donetsk People’s Republic has drawn attention to the fact that Ukraine has in fact admitted in the UN Court of Justice that it has been shamelessly lying about fighting against the Russian Army in Donbass or a Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. Meanwhile, the DPR remembers the Ukrainian invasion and does not intend to forget anything. This has been stated by the DPR People’s Council deputy Vladislav Brig.

      According to this Donetsk politician, Ukraine will have to pay, and there is more than enough evidence of its crimes.

      Brig remarked: “It is really interesting that in the International Court, Ukraine did not mention any Russian aggression. Instead, there was talk of aid in weapons and money to ‘Donetsk terrorists.’ On the international level, the tricks with passports and bus pieces have long since no longer worked, but Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to drag on this crap by inertia. In fact, now they themselves have acknowledged that Ukraine is not fighting the army of the Russian Federation.”

      “If the Russian army had really invaded Ukraine, the war would have ended within a week on the border with Poland. And they all really understand this,” he added.

      The Donetsk politician concluded: “But do they understand that those who threatened our kids into basements, formed punitive battalions out of frostbitten inmates, prepared a blockade, committed terrorist attacks, and gave and fulfilled criminal orders - do they understand that they will get what they deserve? There will be payback. No one has forgotten anything, and there is sufficient evidence.”
    • horseguards
      Given that Britain is nothing more than a has-been and has nothing to offer Russia whatsoever - beyond being the first to decry any and all actions and call for more sanctions - Russia should simply ignore them; isolate them diplomatically. The loss will not be Russia's. The British Foreign Office is represented by an intellectual oaf. Isn't this indicative of a serious lapse in judgement as to the value of its foreign affairs and policy? Or perhaps it reflects precisely its regard for foreign policy.
    • avatar
      This article is the THRU about little Gb from the first word to the last point !!!
    • avatar
      Walter Wolfin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv,
      If Ukraine is richest in Europe then of course Russia is evil for Kyiv. Also Ukrs were first homo sapiens on this planet and invented the wheel. It is what the Ukrs learn in their schools now.
    • avatar
      The lion is the symbol of our country instead of a roar a faint meow is all you hear, pathetic, we are just a puppet nation of the USA.
    • One Tongue Johnny
      Very perceptive article.
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