In a further sign of a thaw in relations between Britain and Russia the new British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson telephoned Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday and apparently called for a “normalisation” of relations.
This follows from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s telephone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday the gist of which was the same. Boris Johnson’s call to Lavrov now provides definite confirmation that a concerted attempt by the British to improve their currently abysmal relations with Russia is now underway.
Whereas Theresa May before becoming Prime Minister had been careful to keep any opinions she might have about Russia to herself, Boris Johnson in articles in the Daily Telegraph has made it clear that he does not share the intense hostility to Russia of certain sections of the British establishment. His call to Lavrov today, coming so soon after Theresa May’s call to Putin, suggests that Theresa May made him Foreign Secretary in part so that he could fix Britain’s relations with Russia.
This approach to Russia is only the latest in a series of policy reversals Theresa May has carried out since becoming Prime Minister. In the brief period she has been in power she has sacked much of her predecessor David Cameron’s Cabinet, reversed his economic policy and put on hold his opening to China as symbolised by the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor project. She has also made known her disapproval of some of the people Cameron named in his resignation honours list.
Though there is no doubt Theresa May’s policy reversals are sincerely intended, her actions since becoming Prime Minister suggest that there were tensions in her relations with Cameron whilst he was Prime Minister which the two managed to keep carefully hidden.