Russia hauls in ambassador over 'offensive' UK comments on nuclear weapons

FILE PHOTO: British Ambassador to Russia Deborah Bronnert takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia February 10, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

LONDON (Reuters) -Russia said on Thursday it had summoned the British ambassador to voice a strong protest against "offensive" British statements, including about alleged Russian threats to use nuclear weapons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it issued the rebuke to Ambassador Deborah Bronnert over "the frankly boorish statements of the British leadership regarding Russia, its leader and official representatives of the authorities, as well as the Russian people".

It said Bronnert was handed a memorandum stating that "offensive rhetoric from representatives of the UK authorities is unacceptable. In polite society, it is customary to apologise for such statements."

The ministry said Russia had told her it objected to British statements containing "deliberately false information, in particular about alleged Russian 'threats to use nuclear weapons'".

No immediate comment was available from Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a radio interview this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "small man syndrome" and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was "like a comedy turn - she does her statement every week threatening to nuke everyone".

Russia's war in Ukraine has wrecked its relations with most Western countries but it often reserves special vitriol for Britain, which has positioned itself as a leading backer of Kyiv in both rhetorical support and weapons supplies.

In February, the Kremlin condemned what it called "absolutely unacceptable" remarks by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss about the risk of conflict between Russia and NATO after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

On Thursday, Putin cited Margaret Thatcher's 1982 dispatch of the British navy to take back the Falkland Islands from Argentina in response to comments by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a "perfect example of toxic masculinity" and would not have happened if Putin were a woman.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said later that some of Johnson's comments were "monstrous".

(Writing by Mark Trevelyan, editing by Deepa Babington)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Grain ship's departure from Ukrainian port delayed due to bad weather- Turkish ministry
'No one can stop them': African migrants aim for Spain's Canary Islands
Blinken visits Rwanda in testing moment for old U.S. ally Kagame
Fresh fears after Facebook’s role in US abortion case
'Extreme' weather warning in force in Britain as new heatwave hits
UK police charge 'IS Beatle' with terrorism offences
This artist uses AI to show how the world’s streets could be more pedestrian-friendly
Cisco hit by cyberattack from hacker linked to Lapsus$ gang
France battles 'monster' wildfire near Bordeaux for third day
UK prosecutor authorises terrorism charges against IS suspect

Others Also Read