Britain has shunned Russia in order to meet their Nato allies
The Foreign Office said Mr Johnson had to abandon his trip to Moscow in order to attend an important meeting with his Nato counterparts.
The Foreign Secretary was set to make a landmark visit to Russia on March 31 following an invitation of Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
The official trip would have been the first made by a British foreign secretary to the former soviet state in more than five years.
But the Nato meeting originally planned for April 5-6 was rescheduled for the last day of March, after US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said he could not make the April appointment.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said: “We have unfortunately had to postpone the foreign secretary’s visit to Russia planned this month due to rescheduling of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in pictures Thu, July 21, 2016
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends his first EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels to discuss the issues in Turkey, Syria, and the Middle East.
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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson addresses the press after a meeting with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault at Quai d'Orsay on July 28, 2016 in Paris, France
“The Foreign Secretary has spoken to Foreign Minister Lavrov and looks forward to reinstating his visit as soon as possible.”
It is now feared Mr Johnson’s abandoned trip to Moscow could escalate tensions between Britain and Russia.
Last week Mr Johnson blasted the eastern powerhouse and accused the nation of using “dirty tricks” to bring down French TV stations and hacking the Democratic National Convention.
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US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson forced the change in timing of the Nato meeting
The Government insisted the visit would not represent an attempt to reset relations with Moscow.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said Britain’s policy towards Russia is to “engage but beware, and the visit is entirely consistent with this approach”.
Boris Johnson has previously been quick to criticise and condemn Russia
She added: “This is not a return to business as usual, and the Foreign Secretary will continue to be robust on those issues where we differ.”
Before the visit was announced, the Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee urged the Foreign Office to invest in rebuilding the skills and expertise Government staff have on Russia.