“No hope”, Moscow pessimistic about the arrival of Rishi Sunak in Downing Street.
Published on 26.10.2022
The Kremlin has estimated that the appointment of the successor to the short-lived Liz Truss will not warm relations between the two countries. Rishi Sunak reaffirmed British support for Ukraine, which he believes must emerge victorious from the ongoing conflict.
The third British Prime Minister in two months Rishi Sunak spoke on October 25 outside 10 Downing Street in London. If he expressed the wish to repair the “errors” committed by his ex-rival Liz Truss, forced to resign after six weeks of economic mistakes, he on the other hand registered his foreign policy in continuity by renewing a firm support in Kyiv.
Rishi Sunak thus qualified as “terrible war” the offensive carried out by Moscow in Ukraine, and declared that the conflict must “end with success” for the latter. After sending him the usual congratulations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter he was ready to “continue to strengthen” the “strategic partnership” between Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
“Ukraine appreciates the support of the UK in its fight against the aggressor. We are counting on closer cooperation for common well-being and victory,” added the head of his government, Denys Shmygal.
Similarly, US President Joe Biden, after inadvertently misrepresenting the name of the new British leader by calling him “Rashid Sanook” the previous day during a speech on the occasion of the Indian holiday of Diwali, expressed of its willingness to continue to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, including the strong support of the two countries in Kyiv.
According to Moscow, relations with London will remain icy
Conversely, Russia has indicated that it has “no hope” of an improvement in relations with the United Kingdom after the appointment of Rishi Sunak. “At the moment we see no premise, no foundation and we have no hope for any positive changes in the near future,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry told reporters. Peskov. He recalled on this occasion that “Russia remains open and ready to talk about difficult issues at the negotiating table”, while specifying that it will not do so, however, “to the detriment of its interests”.
The relationship between Moscow and London, already very uncordial before the outbreak of the Russian offensive in February, has hardly evolved over the changes of British leaders: Boris Johnson was already committed to resolute support from the United Kingdom to the Ukraine and then-foreign minister Liz Truss said in April that kyiv’s victory was “a strategic imperative” and said Moscow should also evacuate Crimea.
She had also met her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on February 10, in an interview that the latter had described as “dialogue of the deaf”. Having become Prime Minister, she had made no inflection with a view to a more peaceful dialogue with Moscow.
Rishi Sunak’s statements on October 25 are hardly surprising. In a letter to Ukrainians two months earlier published by the Kiev Posthe had written: “Whatever changes here in our country, we, the British, will always remain your best ally.”
Over the summer, the training of Ukrainian fighters in the UK began with much fanfare when Defense Secretary Ben Wallace visited a training ground near Manchester, with London planning to train up to 10,000 fighters. Moreover, despite a difficult economic situation, the United Kingdom has already spent several billion pounds in military aid to Kyiv.