London continues to favor cooperation with Russia despite the deteriorating situation in Syria, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy spokesperson told reporters on Monday.
“Our position with Russia remains the same – we will engage with Russia we are very open about the fact that we will continue to engage with Russia but we will do so in a very clear-eyed and robust way,” he said answering a question from a TASS correspondent. “We continue to call on Russia to do everything that it can to build the political settlement in the area. Russia has a significant role to play as one of the political partners in bringing about the solution of the situation in Syria. We have called on Russia to use its influence with the Assad regime and we will continue to make these calls and continue to press Russia to be part of the solution.”
He declined, however, to comment on reports on the possible tightening of sanctions against Russia. According to British media, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is to come up with this proposal at a two-day G7 meeting that began in the Italian city of Lucca earlier in the day.
As for the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to May’s deputy spokesperson, London sees no place for Assad in the long term in peaceful Syria.
On Saturday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had cancelled his visit to Russia scheduled for April 10 because of the changing situation in Syria.