Boris Johnson’s calls for protesters to mass outside the Russian embassy have been mocked by Russia’s ambassador to the UK as a “sign of the state of Britain’s Syria policy”, in his first public comments on the affair. The British foreign secretary said last week that he would “like to see” a protest against the mass aerial bombing raids by Syrian and Russian aircraft on rebel-held areas of Aleppo city. Before a meeting on Saturday between the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Lausanne, Johnson had also suggested military options could yet be deployed by western powers. Writing in the Observer, the Russian ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, is scathing about Johnson’s remarks, which he claims are a sign of the weakness of the UK’s position on the unfolding tragedy in Aleppo. Yakovenko, who was appointed by Putin in 2011, writes: “The novel way of diplomacy proposed by foreign secretary Johnson has so far materialised in a lone gentleman with a poster outside our embassy – not something I would describe as a big diplomatic victory. But the very fact of having to resort to (non-existent) campaigners to make a point is, in my opinion, a sign of the state of Britain’s Syria policy.”
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