Minister for Europe David Lidington met First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov to discuss bilateral relations, key foreign policy issues including Ukraine, Syria and human rights.
During his two-day visit to Moscow, Mr Lidington also met key human rights representatives, Nadiya Savchenko’s lawyer and British business representatives.
Speaking after the visit Mr Lidington said:
Deputy Foreign Minister Titov and I had a constructive discussion on the UK-Russia bilateral relationship. I expressed my concern at recent ceasefire violations in Ukraine and reiterated the need for further progress towards full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on 18 December we discussed our continued engagement within the International Syria Support Group.
I also raised my concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia, particularly in light of the recent announcement by Nadiya Savchenko that she has restarted her hunger strike. I continue to call upon Russia to fulfil its obligations under Minsk and release her from this illegal and lengthy detention.
I made clear that while the Minsk agreements remain unfulfilled the UK – Russia relationship would not be able to deliver on its full potential. But Deputy Foreign Minister Titov and I agreed that despite our differences we needed to continue to work together on key security and foreign policy issues. We also welcomed the growing cultural and people-to-people links between our countries and looked forward to the 2016 reciprocal Year of Language and Literature.
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