Russia condemns Boris Johnson’s call for protests outside London embassy as ‘Russophobic hysteria’

Russian defence ministry labels Mr Johnson’s claims as ‘a storm in a glass of muddy London water’

David Hughes
Wednesday 12 October 2016 14:06 BST
Boris Johnson calls for protests outside the Russian Embassy over Syria conflict

The Russian government has accused Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of trying to whip up “hysteria” after he urged people to protest outside of the country’s embassy having accused Moscow of a role in the bombing of an aid convoy in Syria.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said Mr Johnson’s accusations were “a storm in a glass of muddy London water” and insisted none of his country’s aircraft were in the area at the time of the attack.

He said the “Russophobic hysteria of certain members of the British establishment is no longer impressive”, according to RT, a television network funded by the Russian government, while the country’s embassy in London claimed MPs were on the “wrong side of history” over the Syria conflict on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson told the Commons on Tuesday that all the evidence pointed to Russian aircraft being involved in the September 19 attack on the aid convoy.

"The incident took place after dark; by Russia's own account, the war planes of Syria's regime cannot strike targets after dark, and - also by Russia's own account - its aircraft were in the vicinity at the time. All the available evidence therefore points to Russian responsibility for the atrocity," he told MPs.

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But the Kremlin-backed Sputnik news agency reported that Mr Konashenkov said: “No Russian aircraft were in the area of the humanitarian convoy in Aleppo.

“It’s a fact. And all the ‘alleged’ evidence ... will not be worth a penny, if someone is really given access to them.”

The Russian embassy said the Commons debate was “depressing” and added: “The speeches of those who participated in the discussion contradict the logic of all previous decisions of the International Syria Support Group as well as UN Security Council resolutions.”

A statement by the embassy’s press secretary added: “Syria is going through the hard process of defeating terrorists.

“Pity that the British parliamentarians placed themselves on the wrong side of history this time.”

Press Association

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