Russian government hits back at UK over Syria, asking 'what have you achieved?'

Posted On: 
11th October 2016

The Russian government has hit back at British criticism over the Syria conflict, questioning what the UK has itself achieved in the war-torn country.

Vladimir Putin pictured in Istanbul yesterday

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently warned that Russian officials could face action over "war crimes", including the bombing of a UN aid convoy near the besieged city of Aleppo.

Today he claimed that if the Kremlin did not stop helping the Assad regime it would become a "pariah state" and President Putin's ambition of restoring Russian prestige would "turn to ashes".

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As Mr Johnson was making a statement to the House of Commons, the Russian embassy tweeted a message from the Russian ministry of defence to its British counterpart.

It is the latest salvo in a bitter diplomatic confrontation over the conflict.

On Saturday the Russians vetoed a UN resolution drafted by the French government calling for an end to air strikes on Aleppo, which is Syria's second largest city.

In Parliament today, Mr Johnson said he would "like to see demonstrations" outside the Russian embassy in London.

He claimed Mr Putin was putting his country's reputation at stake through its continuing involvement in the war.

"If Russia continues in its current path then I believe that great country is in danger of becoming a pariah nation," he told MPs.

"And if President Putin’s strategy is to restore the greatness and the glory of Russia then I believe he risks seeing his ambition turn to ashes in the face of international contempt for its action in Syria."

His colleague Andrew Mitchell, the former International Development Secretary, likened the Russian strikes on Aleppo to the Nazis' attacks on the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.