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    Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson addresses the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, October 3, 2017.

    UK Position Shows Misunderstanding of Russian Syria Operation - Moscow

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    The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on Moscow-London ties and issues that Russia plans to discuss with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson ahead of his visit to Russia.

    According to a statement obtained by Sputnik on Saturday, London's perspective on their deep differences with Moscow over Syria shows a lack of understanding regarding the Russian anti-terror mission's goals.

    "A bit consumer perception of the goals of the visit by London attracts [our] attention. … The references to deep differences between our countries, particularly over Syria, unfortunately, show a fundamental lack of understanding of the goals of Russia's anti-terror operation in the country," Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said in the statement.

    On Bilateral Ties

    The Russian side confirmed the preparations of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's visit to Russia carried out in cooperation with UK partners.

    During the visit Russia is planning to focus on the normalization of bilateral ties with the United Kingdom, Titov added.

    "First of all, we are planning to focus on the issues of the normalization of Russian-UK relations through a dialogue that should not be complicated by artificial linkage or clauses," Titov said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

    The diplomat added that the list of bilateral issues that should be solved included the renewal of activities of the intergovernmental commission.

    On Visa Issues

    "Bilateral relations are still substantially complicated by the visa-related problems. … A number of issues and barriers that should be removed have been accumulated in this area," Titov said.

    On Friday, the UK Foreign Office issued a statement, saying that Johnson would visit Russia "towards the end of the year" following an invitation by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    Johnson was supposed to visit Russia in April, however, it was canceled following the US missile attack on the Syrian military base Ash Sha’irat. Moscow criticized the move and noted that a wide range of joint counterterror tools "have been blocked unilaterally by the UK some time ago." 

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    ties, Vladimir Titov, Boris Johnson, Syria, Russia, United Kingdom
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