MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nigel Sussman, a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), has called for forging ties with Russia and lifting sanctions imposed on Moscow as a part of the new narrative for the UK post-Brexit foreign policy in an open letter to UK Prime Minister Theresa May obtained by Sputnik.
"With Brexit we will need to develop our own position on sanctions once we leave the EU. We have the opportunity to suspend or remove them altogether and begin to open a new dialogue with the Russians, perhaps even a lucrative trade deal. Begin to repair the damage done between Russia and the UK and to begin once again to build trust between our two countries," the letter read.
In the letter, Sussman underlined that for many years, the UK's stance on a variety of issues had become increasingly aligned with those of the United States and the European Union.
"We are no longer considered an independent honest broker, but merely an appendage to US Foreign Policy," he said, adding that Washington had long been acting as the world’s policeman.
The politician cited recent examples of anti-Russian propaganda such as the report by Robert Owen, the chairman of the UK inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, claiming that Russian authorities were responsible for taking his life in 2006. The report concluded that Litvinenko’s former colleagues Dmitry Kovtun and Andrey Lugovoy deliberately poisoned him with polonium-210. The investigation, however, failed to prove that the polonium-210 used to poison the former intelligence officer came from Russia.
Another example that Sussman cited was the statement made by UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon in April, when he labeled Russia the "principal backer" of Syrian President Bashar Assad and accused Moscow for every civilian death in the chemical weapons attack in Syria's Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib governorate. Sussman pointed out that there was "no proof at the present time that Assad carried out the chemical attack," adding that an early report showed that "the site at Khan Sheikhoun was inconsistent with a bomb dropped on the area and more consistent with a ground explosion."
"Russia has complied with all the terms of Minsk II Agreement, that they are able to, and any delay is entirely down to Ukraine. It is time therefore for the international community to do what it said it will do and lift the sanctions on Russia," Sussman said, adding that the Ukrainian problem had nothing to do with Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly claimed it was counterproductive to correlate the anti-Russia sanctions with the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, since Russia was not a party to the conflict between Kiev forces and Donbas militia, which had refused to recognize the government installed in the country in 2014 following what many consider to be a coup.
"It is now clear that the US and EU interfered in the Ukraine Elections in order to prevent Ukraine & Russian cooperation and this was done via NGO’s in Ukraine," the letter read.
"Russian soldiers did not intervene in the events connected with Referendum and the Proclamation of the Crimea Independence was witnessed by 150 international observers, with members of the parliaments of the countries of Western and Eastern Europe, and the European Parliament among them," the politician stressed in the letter.
Sussman sent his letter to Prime Minister May several days after the announcement of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's scheduled visit to Russia. According to the UK Foreign Office, London considered it necessary to continue a dialogue with Moscow despite the fact that the United Kingdom had "deep differences with Russia, in particular over Syria and Ukraine, including the Russian Government’s illegal annexation of Crimea."