MOSCOW – The Kremlin on Friday cited a geographical gaffe by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as an example of how poorly informed Western leaders were about the subject matter in the East-West standoff over Ukraine.
“This is the reality in which we have to defend our position,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a briefing, adding that talks involving France and Germany on resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine yielded no results on Thursday.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper quoted two diplomatic sources as saying that during their closed-door meeting on Thursday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had asked Truss if she recognised Russian sovereignty over Rostov and Voronezh – two regions in the south of the country where Russia has been building up its forces.
Kommersant said Truss replied that Britain would never recognise them as Russian, and had to be corrected by her ambassador. In a later interview with another Russian paper, Truss said she had mistakenly thought Lavrov was referring to Ukrainian provinces.