‘Can only argue with the British!’ Russia media taunts Truss visit in brutal dig at UK

Liz Truss slammed by Russian media after Moscow visit

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Liz Truss’ crunch showdown with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was mocked and ridiculed in Russian newspapers. Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Moscow Correspondent, said that “to say that Liz Truss ruffled weathers in Moscow would be an understatement”. The British foreign secretary infuriated Russians, as Mr Lavrov said British-Russian relations had reached their “lowest point in years”.

Mr Rosenberg said: “Today’s Russian papers are scathing about her visit.”

He cited Moskovsky Komsomolets, who called Ms Truss’ talks with Mr Lavrov “a complete failure”.

The paper said: “If Liz Truss was a man, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the two foreign ministers had started a fistfight.

“What was the real reason Liz Truss came to Moscow? To show off, to show how macho she is.”

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The paper’s editorial continued: “We can discuss things with the Americans, the French, the Germans, even the Ukrainians.

“But with the British now, we can only argue. They’re not interested in anything else.

“Thanks for coming Liz. I was about to write ‘Come again’. But that would have been too insincere and cynical.”

Russian government paper Rossiyskaya Gazetta blamed the icy visit on the British politicians trying to use it as a distraction from domestic troubles.

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The paper read: “Moscow believes the rhetoric of the British officials is to a large extent linked to the scandals over Downing Street parties at the high of the pandemic.”

During a frosty press conference after the two-hour meeting, Mr Lavrov said: “I’m honestly disappointed that our conversation turned out like the mute with the deaf.

“We appear to be listening but we’re not hearing anything. Our detailed explanations fell on unprepared ground.”

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In one embarrassing leak from the talks, Ms Truss allegedly confused the Russian regions of Voronezh and Rostov with Ukrainian territory when Mr Lavrov asked whether she recognised Russia’s sovereignty over them.

She told Lavrov that the UK would never recognise Moscow’s claim – until the British ambassador stepped in to correct her, according to Russian business daily Kommersant.

It follows a similar misstep last week when Ms Truss claimed the UK was “supplying and offering extra support to our Baltic allies across the Black Sea”.

The Baltic Sea and the Black Sea are on opposite sides of Europe.

This prompted Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, to respond: “Ms Truss, your knowledge of history is nothing compared to your knowledge of geography.

“If anyone needs saving from anything, it’s the world, from the stupidity and ignorance of British politicians.”

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