British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson unexpectedly cited the trade of potato chips between the UK and Russia as the sign of an improvement in relations between the two nations.
Meeting with Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Friday, Johnson admitted that disputes, especially over UK claims of Moscow’s supposed involvement in cyber hacking, have made the political landscape between the WWII allies a difficult one.
Arguing against the hacking assertion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said the relationship between his country and the UK “could not be called a satisfactory one.”
However, amid the tension and differing perspectives, the Kettle crisp (potato chip) trade between the two permanent members of the UN Security Council is booming, according to Johnson. The British foreign secretary made the comment about Russia’s import of British crisps in an apparent attempt to make light of the awkward diplomatic situation.
“There are signs of economic progress. I’m delighted to say that there are increasing exports of British Kettle crisps to Russia and in spite of all the difficulties I believe 300 Bentleys were sold this year in Russia… a sign of progress… so things are difficult but we want to work together,” he told Russian delegates at the meeting in Moscow.
At an earlier press conference, Lavrov said both the UK and Russia want to find ways to overcome their political differences.
He also claimed the British media and government had sought to paint Russia as an “aggressor” – an image which he said is not a true depiction. The nations are now looking to foster a co-operative relationship, on topics such as security at the upcoming World Cup, Lavrov said.