London’s refusal to hold dialogue with Moscow is regrettable, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, stressing that the ball is in the court of the British partners to resume contacts.
"Indeed, the political dialogue is frozen, and Russia was not the initiator of the freeze," Peskov told reporters on Monday.
Moscow believes that "cooperation in countering modern challenges that we are facing - namely the issues linked to the fight against terrorism and the issues linked to cross-border crime - they demand bilateral cooperation."
"However, the UK refused to hold any contacts already a long time ago, and political dialogue was also frozen," Peskov said. "We regret about this," the presidential spokesman added.
Peskov reminded that Russia has stated many times at all the levels that it is interested in developing mutually beneficial relations on an equal basis with all the countries.
"But in this case, the ball is absolutely in the court of our British colleagues," he stressed.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview with The Times on Monday that political contacts between London and Moscow have been frozen at the initiative of Britain amid events in Syria and Ukraine.
"Practically all political contacts were abruptly broken off at Britain’s initiative, political dialogue has gone at the top level, between the leaders," Yakovenko said. "At the ministerial level there is also stagnation. This began with the Syria conflict, but we felt it especially after the Ukrainian crisis."
The forums for discussions in the spheres of trade and economic cooperation where the sides discussed the issues of mutual interest have been frozen and scientific ties have been suspended, and culture remains the only remaining sphere of contacts, the ambassador said.
The diplomatic ties between Russia and the UK had sunk to new lows after having "bit by bit fallen into decline" in recent years, he said.
The number of Russia’s embassy workers in London has been reduced as the British authorities refuse to grant visas to Russian diplomats, the ambassador added.
First published by TASS.
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