Russia Lashes Out After UK Talks: "Like A Mute Talking To A Deaf Person"

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 10, 2022 - 04:40 PM

For the past month Britain has been at the forefront of Western allies taking muscular action aimed at Russia over the Ukraine standoff, being the first country to initiate large military weapons shipments into the country, and recently issuing explosive allegations that Moscow is plotting a coup in Ukraine to install a pro-Kremlin puppet. 

Given all of this, it should come as no surprise that a high-level meeting between UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ended in anger and finger-pointing, which was a much different tone compared to the amicable atmosphere of the Putin-Macron meeting days ago. It further underscores the emergent de facto divide among NATO allies - the Germany-France side is seeking robust diplomacy and de-escalation, while the US-UK and some Baltic states appear bent on muscle-flexing and confrontation. In recent days, NATO leaders have taken pains to stress the Western alliance is "unified" and unshaken in the face of Russian "aggression". 

The Thursday meeting in Moscow appears to have been disastrously confrontational, with the Russian side charging the UK with grandstanding and stubborn refusal to listen to any legitimate concerns...

"I'm honestly disappointed that what we have is a conversation between a dumb and a deaf person...Our most detailed explanations fell on unprepared soil," Lavrov told a joint news conference with Britain's Liz Truss.

"They say Russia is waiting until the ground freezes like a stone so its tanks can easily cross into Ukrainian territory. I think the ground was like that today with our British colleagues, from which numerous facts that we produced bounced off," he continued in usually accusatory language. 

Truss in response used the occasion to again charge Russia with preparing to invade its sovereign neighbor: 

"I can't see any other reason for having 100,000 troops stationed on the border, apart from to threaten Ukraine. And if Russia is serious about diplomacy, they need to remove those troops and desist from the threats," she said.

Liz Truss and Sergei Lavrov give a joint press conference following talks in Moscow. AFP/Getty Images

"No one is undermining Russia's security - that is simply not true," Truss added. On the question of seeking NATO membership, she said it remains "perfectly proper" for Ukraine to seek allies to help defend itself.

In a marked departure from Macron's more conciliatory words while in Moscow this week (good cop, bad cop perhaps?), she said, "If there were to be a Russian incursion into Ukraine, the Ukrainians will fight." She warned: "This would be a prolonged and drawn-out conflict. The UK and our allies would put in place severe sanctions targeting individuals and institutions. The United States has been clear that Nord Stream 2 [the pipeline project] would not go ahead." Though the question remains just how the US could go about shutting down a pipeline which is complete, and already a de facto reality.