Emma Burrows Profile picture
Feb 10, 2022 22 tweets 10 min read Read on X
Liz Truss is meeting Russian foreign minister right now. She promises ‘toughest sanctions’ if Russia invades Ukraine but the sanctions package still isn’t ready. I doorstepped her this AM as she visited a Russian university. Unclear exactly what this visit will achieve @itvnews
Lavrov has just said, right in front of her, talking to @trussliz is ‘like talking to a deaf person.’ Says ‘we explained russian troops on the border are in our own territory’ unlike thousands of UK servicemen in the Baltics. They are not looking at each other and tone is icy.
‘We’ve been choosing diplomacy all these years & we’re going to choose diplomacy again,’ Lavrov tells @trussliz. She might disagree with 100K troops on Ukraine’s border, poisoning of the Skripals with Novichok and murder of Alexander Litvinenko to name a few non-diplo events.
‘We don’t want to threaten anyone, look at our public statements. We’ve never threatened anyone...we are in the spirit of compromise’ says Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister. Interesting statement given Putin said he is prepared to take ‘military-technical’ steps to protect Russia.
.@trussliz says ‘The Ukrainians will fight. This will be a protracted, prolonged conflict. We want to avoid war in Ukraine and that’s why I’m here, to work with nato government and nato allies.’ Lavrov then appears to give a big sigh!
Press conference between U.K. & Russia foreign ministers is like watching a tennis match where players are trying to knock each out with the ball. Lavrov tells Liz Truss Russian troops doing something in Russian territory - ‘this is not her business.’
This presser has not gone well. Sergey Lavrov has just briskly walked off, leaving @trussliz on her own at the podium. He said talking to her was ‘like talking to a deaf person’ & said what Russia does in its own territory is ‘not her business.’ She’s now got lunch with him…
The conversation between @trussliz @FCDOGovUK & Russian FM Lavrov @MID_RF is as icy as the Moscow weather. They disagreed, threw insults & accused each other of not listening. If anything, this visit may have soured U.K.-Russia relations further. That’s an achievement in itself…
UK Foreign Sec @trussliz has left the building. Judging by presser between her & Lavrov, she won’t be invited back any time soon. Quote of day from @MID_RF Lavrov: speaking to Truss is like having a ‘conversation between a mute or deaf person who is listening but not hearing.’
During the press conference @trussliz warned Russia of very serious consequences should it invade Ukraine saying ‘UK & allies would put in place severe sanctions targeting individuals and institutions.’ She said the US is also clear Nord Stream 2 would not go ahead.
Truss’s visit, like Macron’s, seems to have aim of keeping diplomacy alive. She said ‘Why I’m here in Moscow is that Russia has v clear choice. They can pursue path of diplomacy…or continue down path they’ve been indicating by amassing troops on the border in a threatening way.’
Spoke to Russian diplomatic source tonight in Moscow. Was told Lavrov said "‘Do you recognise Rostov & Voronezh is sovereign Russian territory?’" @trussliz said "‘we will never recognise Russian sovereignty there’ Then U.K. ambassador had to tell her that this is part of Russia"
Diplomatic source in Moscow told me @itvnews meeting between British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss & FM Sergey Lavrov 'was embarrassing. I can’t understand how that can happen to British diplomacy. It’s like making a speech for elections, even her voice was as if she was outside'
British Embassy in Moscow tonight says Liz Truss thought Lavrov was talking about part of Ukraine. 'I clearly indicated that these regions [Rostov and Voronezh] are part of sovereign Russia.'
Russian diplomatic source said @trussliz started meeting with 'British slogans about Ukraine & troops near there.' I understand bilateral relations were discussed at lunch & Russia told it needs to deescalate & engage in meaningful talks before they can significantly improve.
In Moscow with @rachyoungeritv on a day of diplomatic drama. itv.com/news/2022-02-1…
Speaking after meeting Russian defence minister @BWallaceMP says ‘I heard clearly from the Russian government they have no intention of invading Ukraine and …we urged dialogue as a way through to discuss concerns Russia may have.’
Asked by @itvnews @rachyoungeritv about Russia Lavrov saying his conversation with @trussliz was like one between ‘a deaf person & a mute’ @BWallaceMP said ‘Minister Lavrov is a master of these type of engagements. In our discussion there was absolutely no deafness or blindness’
U.K. defence secretary said he had ‘constructive & frank discussions’ with Russia defence minister ‘which I hope contributed to a better atmosphere & also to de-escalation.’ Referring to yesterday’s icy meeting between @trussliz & Russia FM: ‘I will leave Mr Lavrov to Mr Lavrov’
.@BWallaceMP not doing joint presser so no opp to publicly see interaction with Russian minister. Tone is respectful: Shoigu ‘is professional & v experienced minister. When they say they aren’t going to invade Ukraine we take it seriously but look at actions which accompany it’
Hours after UK Defence Sec Ben Wallace briefed press that UK was not telling citizens to leave Ukraine, reports from US @nickschifrin suggest invasion imminent. Putin spox Peskov says Putin speaks to Macron tmo lunchtime & Biden tmo eve Moscow time.
Russian Foreign Ministry in response to US announcement warning invasion of Ukraine could happen any day says 'coordinated information attack is being carried out against Moscow, aimed at undermining & discrediting Russia's just demands for security guarantees.' @interfax_news

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More from @EJ_Burrows

Feb 21, 2023
THREAD: A year after Putin sent a Russian family's son to fight and die in Ukraine, I asked them how they feel about the war now.

Their answers may shock you but they help show how Putin has crushed independent media & is rewriting history. Please read.
On the walls of a school in a tiny village in western Russia hangs a stone plaque in honour of a soldier who died in battle.

Here, on the Eastern Front, millions of Soviet soldiers died fighting Hitler’s Nazi invasion. But the stone plaque on this school is not for one of them. Image
Sergey Muraviev was one of first soldiers Putin sent to Ukraine on 24th February. He was dead not even a month later: killed in Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine protecting his comrades & ‘peaceful citizens’ according to Russia's Defence Ministry. itv.com/news/2023-02-2… Image
Read 20 tweets
Jan 11, 2023
THREAD: a short look at a scolding from Putin & what it tells us about modern Russia.

Today Putin slammed head of Ministry of Industry & Trade Denis Manturov for not signing any new contracts for aircraft in 2023.

Putin was pictured dramatically eye-rolling & paper shuffling.
Broadcast on state TV, the head of the trade ministry told Putin that things were in place ‘taking into account testing, certification and the import substitution programme.’
Russia is under sanctions for its war in Ukraine meaning it can’t access western tech - inc for planes.
Putin must know(??) there are challenges pivoting the Russian airline industry towards domestic production (hard without western tech) but he doesn’t seem to care. ‘Why are you playing the fool? When will there be contracts?’ Putin asks his helpless minister with raised eyebrows.
Read 14 tweets
Jan 10, 2023
NEW: Western officials say Russia's strategy of bombing Ukraine into cold darkness looks like it might stop working. Time between missile salvos is increasing & no. of missiles dropping as Russia struggles to resupply

'At some point, they'll have to go back to the drawing board'
NEW: Western officials say, 'the waves were coming continuously at while the Russians felt they had sufficient stocks. Their ability to do this on an ongoing basis has been severely reduced...their strategy hasn’t worked. The Ukrainian people have shown some real resilience.'
NEW: Almost a year into Ukraine war, western officials say Russia air force's 'training does not prepare them for warfare...the navy is ineffective, it's a defensive flotilla.' Russia has 'severely underperformed' in cyber & hybrid warfare & intelligence has 'been found wanting.'
Read 6 tweets
Dec 19, 2022
Putin/Lukashenko presser: sounds like a Russian bureaucratic takeover of Belarus. Russia & Belarus will streamline customs/tax systems/will have united air defence system.

Lukashenko: 'Are we able to defend our independence without Russia?'

Doesn't sound like there is much left
BREAKING: Putin says Russia & Belarus are joining military forces. 'There will be a Russia-Belarus regional grouping of troops. Right now in Belarus a military harmonization event is taking place, including joining our military units. There will be a united air defence system.'
BREAKING: Putin sounds like he is bolstering Russian forces by effectively taking control of Belarus military.

'It's a priority to prepare (joint) troops for readiness & combat capability...carry out joint deliveries of weapons & jointly produce new military equipment.'
Read 7 tweets
Sep 28, 2022
Near the Georgia border crossing into Russia, protesters are playing the Ukrainian national anthem and trolling the Russians who are leaving.

‘In surveys, most of you support the war. So why now are you leaving?’ reads the sign carried by the man draped in the Ukraine flag.
This man’s sign says ‘Putin did not personally set off rockets. Putin and 190,000 of his clones did not come to Ukraine on a tank but 190,000 Russians did.’

‘F*** Putin’ he said. #Georgia #Russia
There are some sassy t-shirts at this pro-Ukraine protest on the Georgia-Russia border.

‘Sorry baby, my heart is already occupied by Ukraine.’
Read 7 tweets
Sep 27, 2022
Russia is putting a military conscription office at Russia-Georgia border. The message: try to leave, you’ll be drafted.

Russian officials say cars heading to Georgia is ‘seriously increasing.’ 115K people have crossed in last week here, 23.3% higher than wk before. @tass_agency
NEW: At Georgia-Russia border, Danil gave me this video of Russian soldiers in balaclavas arriving. ‘There are thousands of people standing there. When the referendum in Ukraine is over (today) I think Russia is going to declare all-out war and ban men from leaving the country.’
At Georgia-Russia border I went to chat to truck drivers. Quote of day comes from an Armenian carrying cognac:

‘I’ve been driving to Moscow for 22yrs. Because of all this we’ve waited here 4 days. Normally it takes 3 days…unless Natasha in Rostov stops me…then it takes 5 days’
Read 5 tweets

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