August 21, 2018 / 12:45 PM / 4 months ago

Russia accuses UK of trying to dictate policy to the EU and U.S.

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a joint news conference following a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Moscow, Russia May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Britain on Tuesday of trying to impose its hostile Russia policy on the European Union and the United States, Russian news agencies reported.

Lavrov was responding to an initiative by foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is due to tell an audience in Washington later on Tuesday that London wants the EU, which it is in the process of leaving, to increase sanctions on Moscow.

Britain, the EU, and the United States blame Russia for a nerve agent attack against a former Russian double agent in Salisbury earlier this year. The Kremlin denies involvement.

“Our British colleagues have quite a high opinion of themselves,” said Lavrov, who was speaking in the Black Sea resort of Sochi after holding talks with his Serbian counterpart.

“A country which is leaving the European Union in the framework of Brexit is trying to dictate foreign policy to the European Union itself. And now, as it turns out, London wants to dictate foreign policy on Russia in Washington.”

Lavrov said Moscow had many times offered to sit down with Britain and discuss problems affecting bilateral ties, but had always been rebuffed “in a high-handed way.”

He said Russia’s offer of talks still stood however.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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