The diplomat spoke candidly about Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State’s, use of the word “ultimatum” and claimed it is closely “associated with a declaration of war”.
Alexander Yakovenko, a career diplomat who was handed the London role in 2011, said: “We deplore that deployment for it raises tensions in Europe along the border between Nato and Russia.
May has been warned that the UK's relationship with Russia is at a new low
“Russia doesn’t pose any threat to Estonia nor any other Nato member-state. That is why all the talk of territorial defence sounds provocative, and with [the] changing nature of war, outright ridiculous.”
It follows Boris Johnson’s call for Russia to join the West in removing “archterrorist” Bashar al-Assad from power or face being stuck with “a league of supervillians” on the wrong side of history.
Countries that support and oppose the missile strikes in Syria Mon, April 10, 2017
European countries have been broadly supportive so far as President Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched
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SYRIA OPPOSES: President Bashar al-Assad's office denounced the U.S. strike as 'reckless, irresponsible behavior.'
Russia must show it wants to work towards international goals and peace in Syria if there is to be any substantial improvement in our relations
The Foreign Secretary said he was fully behind US President Donald Trump’s “timely, appropriate and essential” airstrikes against Syria in the wake of last week’s “sickening” chemical attack.
But a British source said: “Russia must show it wants to work towards international goals and peace in Syria if there is to be any substantial improvement in our relations.”
Mr Yakovenko was asked if this is the worst that relations between the UK and Russia have ever been, he said: “Yes, it is.”
He said he had “respect” for Theresa May but the UK’s view that Russia is in the wrong is incorrect and actually, “the opposite is true”.
Yakovenko is adament that the UK are supporting the wrong side in the Syrian conflict
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He added: “There is no moderate opposition alternative to the present government in Syria. They must decide for themselves.”
President Bashar al-Assad has described the claims his government was involved in the deadly chemical gas attack as “100 per cent fabrication”.
The Syrian president has claimed they did not carry out the chemical attack
Speaking for the first time since the deadly attack on the rebel-held village of Khan Sheikhoun, Assad said there had been "no order to make any attack" adding, "even if we had (chemical weapons) we wouldn't use them".
Ambassador Yakovenko compared the situation to an attack in Damascus in 2013 that David Cameron said was “beyond doubt” the Syrian regime.
Johnson has been attacked this week for his choice to not go to Moscow
He continued: “Now the same stagecraft with the same purpose in mind. It is suspicious that the West wouldn’t even discuss the issue of chemical weapons use by opposition terrorists.”
“Fortunately, it turned out to be a mere suggestion … But in history the very word “ultimatum” is closely associated with a declaration of war.”