Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning “An Invisible Chain” speech by the UK Foreign Secretary

Q: In his speech at the “Policy Exchange” think tank UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has dwelled on the shifts in the global balance of power. Do you agree with his assessment?

A: We believe Mr Hunt’s view on the trends in global development is right in principle. The centre of the economic power shifts to the East, the BRICS countries as well as a lot of Asian economies are on the rise, and with economic power comes greater political influence. The speech reflects growing awareness in the UK political classes that the place and role of the West in the shaping of the international order is in decline. The world is changing rapidly, and the UK will have to adapt to the new reality.

In this regard it is most striking that the UK foreign policy, judging by Mr Hunt’s key points, is going to concentrate on the historic West, building some sort of an “invisible chain” based on values linking the same Western group of countries. While declaring openness and outward-looking character of Britain the Foreign Secretary offers no vision for the principles of interaction with others.

As the expulsion of Russian diplomats following the Salisbury provocation is once again presented as the one and only practical “achievement” of the latest UK foreign policy efforts, it is highly regrettable that anti-Russian sentiment continues to guide the UK Conservative government. We believe it is a wrong path. Building pragmatic working relations with Russia, which does not represent any threat to the UK and strives to maintain honest and equal dialogue with all the international actors, would better fit into the “Global Britain” policy.