‘We know what you’re doing’ May and Johnson send WARNING to Russia

Theresa May sent the warning as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visits Moscow today, the first such trip in five years. 

Mrs May said today she had a “very simple message” for Vladimir Putin. 

She said: “We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.” 

And Mr Johnson and ‘s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have already shared an awkward exchange during a joint press conference today. 

Mr Lavrov admitted relations between the two states are “at a low”, with Mr Johnson agreeing “things are not easy between us”. 

Mr Johnson did follow this up by exclaiming he was “glad they’re increasing the exports of kettle crisps to Russia” – a comment the bemused Russian interpreter decided not to translate. 

Mr Johnson’s visit comes at a time when relations between London and Moscow are strained by differences over Ukraine and Syria as well as by allegations, which Russia flatly denies, of meddling in the politics of various European countries and of backing cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.

Before the trip Mr Johnsons said: “Our relations with Russia cannot be ‘business as usual’ whilst Russia continues to attempt to destabilise European states, including Ukraine.”

While travelling to Moscow on Thursday, Johnson told reporters that Britain disapproved of many things that Russia had done. He singled out its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, what he called Moscow’s destabilising of the western Balkans, and its cyber activities.

But Mr Johnson also stressed his desire for London and Moscow to cooperate where they have common interests, saying it was vital for international security that the two countries talk to each other because not doing so risked potentially dangerous misunderstandings.

He said he wants to discuss working with Moscow to preserve the Iran nuclear deal and the threat posed by North Korea, as well as security arrangements for next year’s FIFA World Cup which will be held in Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said yesterday the decision to scale back British-Russian dialogue had been London’s and had been groundless and untimely.