Russia’s Lavrov: Maybe Gavin Williamson lacks education
Moscow has hit back after the Defence Secretary suggested Russia should ‘go away and shut up’.
Russia’s foreign minister has suggested Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson “lacks education”.
The war of words escalated after Mr Williamson suggested Russia should “go away and shut up”.
Moscow’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, dismissed the “bombastic remarks” amid heightened tensions between the UK and Russia over the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, which has also left Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey in hospital after exposure to the Novichok substance.
Responding to Mr Williamson, Mr Lavrov said: “I guess he wants to go down in history with some bombastic statements.”
In comments reported by Russian news agency Tass, Mr Lavrov added: “Theresa May’s ‘highly likely’ is the main argument supporting the Russia blame game and his would be ‘Russia should go away and shut up’.
“Maybe he lacks education, I don’t know.”
Russia’s ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, said Mr Williamson’s comments were part of a “shocking” political culture.
He told RT television: “I have some reservations about the political culture, in the way discussion is going on and the way the minister of defence is putting his views.
“It is quite surprising for us, but this is the new reality in the new political culture in the United Kingdom.
“For the Russian ear, and the ear of any diplomat in the world, it is a little bit shocking.
“But when you live here in London for a while, you can get used to this.”
Asked how Russia would respond to the current diplomatic crisis, Mr Yakovenko said: “Our policy will be quite balanced, we have strategic patience.
“But we will never allow (anyone) to talk to us in such language as you just heard from the minister of defence. This is not our language.”