"It’s … up to the British government to determine how to proceed in its relations with Russia. Personally I think it’s either 'engage' or 'beware'. Anyway, pragmatism, traditionally espoused by the British, is synonymous with commonsense and sound assessment of the situation," Yakovenko told the Sunday Express, with the interview posted on the Russian Embassy's website, when asked about London’s "engage but beware" strategy toward Moscow.
According to Yakovenko, Russia did not need a "cozy relationship" with the United Kingdom but rather the one based on mutual respect and national interest, bearing in mind that Johnson’s visit comes at the time when Russia-UK ties are "at the lowest point after the Cold War end."
The ambassador expressed hope, however, that the first official visit at the foreign ministers’ level in Russia-UK bilateral relations over the past three years meant that London was interested in the resumption of political dialogue with Moscow.
Johnson is expected to visit Moscow at the end of March.