(Reuters) -Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday criticised Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss for not being willing to compromise and mocked her for saying she did not know if the French president was a friend or an enemy.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Lavrov said Truss’ approach would not help Britain on the international stage.
Lavrov said Truss tried to “defend Britain’s interests without taking into account the positions of others in any way and without any attempt to compromise.”
He added: “I do not think that this will help Britain to maintain or strengthen its position in the international arena, which has clearly been shaken after it left the European Union.”
Lavrov also taunted the incoming British leader over recent tension with French President Emmanuel Macron, a key NATO ally for Britain. During a campaign event last month, Truss said the “jury is out” on whether Macron was a friend or foe.
“For Liz Truss … it should be more of a priority to deal with her closest neighbours, including finally deciding whether President Macron is her friend or enemy. This question is still hanging in the air,” Lavrov said.
Russian politicians and media have greeted Truss’ victory in the contest to replace Boris Johnson with scorn, lambasting what they see as her anti-Russian position.
Lavrov said Britain had in recent years taken to trying to “compensate” for Brexit by taking “drastic steps on the world stage” and was acting “aggressively over the situation in Ukraine.”
Britain has been one of the most vocal backers of Kyiv and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy since Russia invaded in late February. Truss, Britain’s foreign minister who is replacing Johnson as prime minister from Tuesday, has said she will not abandon London’s support, which has included significant military and financial aid.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)