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    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

    UK FM Blunders, Says St. Pete Consulate Closure Would Deprive Russians of Visas

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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)

    Via an op-ed in the Sun newspaper, Boris Johnson claimed that Russia’s package of retaliatory diplomatic sanctions against the UK “will only punish ordinary Russians by depriving them of harmless opportunities to learn English and apply for UK visas.” His comments refer to Russia’s closing of the British council and consulate in St. Petersburg.

    However, the UK embassy in Moscow confirmed to Sputnik today that the consulate in St. Petersburg hasn't been issuing visas for several years, contradicting the British foreign secretary's claims.

    "The consulate in Saint Petersburg has not been dealing with issuing of visas for Russian citizens for several years. All these matters are decided upon and dealt with in Moscow," the British embassy in Moscow told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: Boris Johnson Slams Moscow's Response to Expulsion of Russian Diplomats From UK

    The gaffe-prone politician has been the subject of controversy countless times throughout his political career, including earlier this year, when he wrongly referred to Lebanon instead of Yemen during a cabinet meeting, before being corrected by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

    This latest embarrassment to Boris Johnson comes off the back of Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson being described as a "prepubescent schoolboy" on social media, among numerous other things, after he said "Russia should shut up and go away." 

     READ MORE: PM May's Anti-Russia Stance Largely for Own Political Gain, Not UK Security

    As part of the UK government's kneejerk reaction against Russia over its alleged role in the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from their posts.

    Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack and called for a joint investigation with the UK based on the standards set out by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW.)

    READ MORE: UK Ignores OPCW Commitment in Skripal Incident — Analyst

    When the UK refused to cooperate, and opted to impose sanctions against Russia, the Russian government responded by expelling 23 British diplomats and closing a number of British diplomatic facilities.

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)


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    Boris Johnson, Britain, Russia, Saint Petersburg
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