The Kremlin cites a “blunder” made by British Foreign Secretary Liz Tras as an example of how little Western leaders are aware of the controversy over Ukraine. “This is the reality in which we must defend our position,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement, adding that talks with France and Germany on resolving the dispute in eastern Ukraine had failed on Thursday.
The Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted two diplomatic sources as saying that during a closed-door meeting on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had asked Tras if he recognized Russian sovereignty in Rostov and Voronezh, two provinces in the south. Russia has begun to gather forces. The newspaper reports that Trash replied that Britain would never recognize them as Russian and that her ambassador had to correct her.
Later in an interview with another Russian newspaper, Trash said that she mistakenly believed that Lavrov was referring to Ukrainian provinces.