9 Jul 2018 20:41

Boris Johnson's resignation chance to improve London-Moscow relations - Kosachyov

MOSCOW. July 9 (Interfax) - Having a new foreign secretary is unlikely to change the direction of Britain's foreign policies, including on Russia, but it gives a chance to partially rectify the situation, Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

"I don't think there will be major changes to Britain's foreign policy course, including its Russian aspect. Both the Foreign Office and the Cabinet in general have gone too far, precisely on Russia, to start playing it back now. However, a chance certainly emerges to try and rectify the situation at least partially with staff reshuffles," Kosachyov wrote on his Facebook page.

Earlier on Monday British Prime Minister Theresa May accepted the resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. His was preceded by the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis over disagreements on Britain's plans for leaving the European Union.

Vyacheslav Nikonov, a foreign policy expert and the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science, said that Johnson may have stepped down because of the prime minister's shaky position with a view to taking her place.

"Regarding the resignation of Boris Johnson. The outward reason: disagreements over Brexit, Johnson favors a more decisive break with Brussels. But I think that the real reason is different," Nikonov was quoted by his spokesperson as saying.

"It cannot be ruled out that he sensed the unsteadiness of Theresa May's position. Already there is talk of a possible vote of confidence in her within the party. And then who could claim her place? Not least Boris Johnson," NIkonov said.

The ruling party, United Russia, saw signs of a power crisis in both resignations. "The resignation of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after that of Brexit Secretary David Davis points to a deep power crisis on the foggy Albion," Sergei Zheleznyak, a senior party member and a member of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Monday.

In his view, May is trying to "conceal this crisis by searching for 'nonexistent enemies in the person of Russia'."

It is unlikely that the replacements would change the situation on the outward perimeter of British policy, including the relations with Russia, the parliamentary majority representative said.

"The loss of voters' trust by the Conservative Party at past parliamentary elections is increasingly manifesting itself and deepening the contradictions within the government, which not only has a negative impact on Britain's EU exit process but could also affect the political decisions concerning the lives of ordinary English people including the immigration policy and resolution of social issues," Zheleznyak was quoted by his press service as saying.