LONDON — US President Donald Trump understands the need to deal with Russia in “a very guarded way,” according to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Johnson was speaking after his first meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a G20 foreign ministers summit in Germany on Thursday.
He told BBC News: “You’ve got to beware of what they are up to.”
He added: “We don’t want to get into a new Cold War. That’s something London and Washington are completely at one on.
“But nor do we want Russian behaviour to continue as it is – and Rex Tillerson has been very clear about that.”
Johnson’s comments come amid intense media scrutiny on the Trump administration’s communications with senior Russian officials in the run-up to his election victory.
On Tuesday, the president’s national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned following allegations that he secretly communicated with the Russian ambassador to Washington about lifting sanctions then tried to cover up the allegations.
Johnson told the BBC: “I think Rex Tillerson is absolutely clear in his view, which is the same as mine. You have got to engage with Russia, but you have got to engage in a very guarded way. You have got to beware of what they are up to.
“There is no question that, when you look at Russian activity on the cyber front, when you look at what they are doing in the western Balkans, when you look at what has been happening in the Ukraine, you’ve got to be very, very cautious,” he added.
“I think it is entirely right to have a dual track approach.”
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