Boris Johnson’s downfall has been met with delight and ridicule in Moscow, while officials in Kyiv expressed sadness at the resignation of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s key ally, which is likely to lead to fears for what it will mean for Ukraine’s war effort.
Johnson, who championed weapons transfers to Ukraine in the early stages of the war and was the first world leader to visit Kyiv in April, has emerged as a much-loved figure in Ukraine, but his position made him a frequent target for Russian state media. The Kremlin described him as the “most active anti-Russian leader”.
“He doesn’t like us. We don’t like him either,” Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday morning.
As news of Johnson’s looming resignation reached Moscow, other senior Russian officials and Kremlin-linked businesspeople used stronger words, saying he had finally got his reward for arming Ukraine against Russia.
“The moral of the story – do not seek to destroy Russia. Russia cannot be destroyed. You can break your teeth on it, and then choke on them,” the foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
The deputy chair of Russia’s security council, Dmitry Medvedev, gloated that Johnson’s resignation was “the logical result of British arrogance and mediocre policy”.
“Ukraine’s best friends are departing. We are waiting for news from Germany, Poland and the Baltic states,” the former Russian president wrote on Telegram. [Continue reading…]
Boris Johnson’s downfall has been received as a reason for hope in Brussels and Dublin, after relations between the UK and the EU hit a historic low point under his premiership.
Given the difficulties over the last two and a half years, there was a dearth of the usual diplomatic platitudes from European capitals, although Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy did express his “sadness” in a call.
Ireland’s taoiseach, Micheál Martin, expressed personal sympathy to Johnson but used the moment to call on the government to respect international law and the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.
In a statement issued moments after Johnson spoke outside No 10 Downing Street, Martin suggested the prime minister’s resignation presented an opportunity for a reset. [Continue reading…]