Talks Between Defence Ministers Lower the Temperature

It may seem strange, but when Defence Ministers from opposing sides get together they actually seem to have more in common than Foreign Ministers, perhaps because they are much more aware of what is at stake. And the military, certainly in Russia, place a great deal more weight on symbols and history that seem almost superfluous and not requiring much attention to a diplomat.

These are certainly the impressions gleaned from the brief Russian press coverage of the negotiations today, Friday, between the Defence Ministers of Russia and Britain if one reads between the lines of the accusations that one expected to be exchanged and the importance given to the exchange of gifts that bore the hallmark of more hopeful times during the Anglo-Soviet alliance against Nazi Germany.

Admittedly after the Lavrov-Truss train wreck, almost anything would be an improvement. But Shoigu found something reassuring in Wallace’s denial of President Putin’s assertion last year that the British were intent on divide and rule in Russia. This meant conversations with Wallace could potentially open the way to a more constructive conversation of the deeper problems underlying Europe’s security architecture.

It is fascinating that Wallace found a form of engagement that his Foreign Office counterpart had not. Perhaps we have a momentary glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel?

Rossiiskaya gazeta, 12 February 2022

Шойгу: Западным странам надо прекратить напичкивать Украину оружием18:33

Шойгу: Западным странам надо прекратить напичкивать Украину оружием

Nezavisimaya gazeta, 12 February 2022

Британия не намерена следовать принципу «разделяй и властвуй» с РФ — глава Минобороны

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20:40 11.02.2022 Источник: Информационное агентство России “ТАСС”