Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrei Kelin is hopeful that London changes its stance in order to overcome current disagreements in relations with Moscow, Kelin said in an interview with Sky News channel on Wednesday.
"The current situation is a bit unnatural. As with others we would like to have a relationship with UK, as with Germany, as with France, as with Italy and many others," Kelin said cited by Sky News on its site.
"Some of these countries have already come over this crisis and decide to be on the positive side so we hope that UK will also overcome the current disagreements and will move in its position," he added.
The diplomat pointed out that the Russian embassy was closely watching the race ahead of the December 12 election to the House of Commons, emphasizing that Moscow had no preference about who wins next month's election, TASS reports.
"We are watching closely what political parties are saying, what kind of reports are being done," he said. "We have no preference in this relationship and we are not at all trying to influence it, it does not make any sense. But with new administration, with new government, of course we will be doing our best to improve things but we need to see some signs of willingness to do that from the side of the UK government."
Speaking at the fifth Russian-British business forum in London, Kelin also mentioned the two countries’ potential for British-Russian business ties.
"We have a serious potential which is being cooled down unfortunately by officials here in London," he said.
"But there is a great desire on the side of the Russian business and on the side of British business to continue work to increase and benefit from it," the ambassador told Sky News urging the UK entrepreneurs to do business in Russia and invest in its economy.
Andrei Kelin was appointed Russia’s ambassador to London in early November and last week he took on his responsibilities. Before the appointment, since 2015 he had headed the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for European cooperation. In 2011-2015 he was Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.
In 2011-2019, Russia’s former ambassador to the UK was Alexander Yakovenko, who now heads the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.