: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Britain should have closer relations with Russia – Foreign Affairs Committee of UK Parliament


Britain is not Russia`s enemy, and should stop accusing Vladimir Putin of war crimes in Syria, effectively calling for a reappraisal of relations with Moscow – stated the report of Foreign Affairs Committee.

Until this moment UK has been among the strongest advocates of a hard line towards Russia, differentiating itself from Donald Trump, U.S. president, and French presidential candidates Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen.

But Members of Parliament from the foreign affairs committee said greater engagement was needed, and criticized Boris Johnson`s Foreign Office for appearing ”not to know what it wants.”

A report published on Thursday is particularly skeptical of the UK`s calls for the UN to investigate alleged Russian war crimes in Syria. Without evidence of war crimes, that ”risks bolstering the Kremlin`s narrative that Russia is held to unfair double standards by hostile and hypocritical western powers,” the report said.


See also: Royal Navy warship to enter the Black Sea port of Odesa in 2017 as part of British assistance to Ukraine

Less than a fortnight ago, parliament voted for a bill with power to freeze assets of foreign human rights abusers. The MPs` report welcomed such a provision, and said that Britain should not remove sanctions on Russia until Moscow honors its obligations towards Ukraine.

But in relation to Ukraine, the MPs warned the UK ”faces the possibility of becoming an isolated actor supporting a policy towards Russia that is failing.”

The MPs also said that GBP 20 million in funding set aside to improve governance in five countries including Ukraine and Georgia ”seems woefully inadequate.” Ukraine alone ”would justify the investment of British resources of hundreds of millions of pounds to improve governance.”

The report called for the Foreign Office to clarify whether the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement would still be upheld once Britain had left the EU.


See also: Johnson says Britain fully support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression

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