British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, called himself "a convinced Russophile."
"Let me say that I'm a Russophile," he said. "A convinced Russophile," he added.
When speaking about bilateral relations between Russia and Britain, there are signs of economic progress there, Boris Johnson said.
"Supplies of Kettle chips to Russia have been increasing. As far as I know, this year we have supplied 300 Bentleys. Not sure if they were sold to Foreign Ministry employees, though," Johnson joked to Lavrov's laughter.
According to Johnson, "this is a signal, a sign of progress." "And we are ready to work together with you to ensure a better future," he said.
"It's no secret that our relations are at a low point and that's not at our initiative," Lavrov responded. "We've noticed you and other Western countries have your reasons for this and you prefer to speak about them publicly. We would prefer to discuss these issues directly, not in public through microphones."
The head of the British Foreign Office said that Russia and the United Kingdom should discuss complex issues of bilateral relations, including disagreements over Ukraine and issues of cybersecurity.
Boris Johnson arrived in Moscow for talks with Sergei Lavrov on December 22. This is the first visit of the head of the Foreign Office to Russia over the past five years. Last year, Johnson announced his visits to Moscow twice, but canceled them at the last moment.