Boris Johnson and his Russian counterpart have clashed over the issues of Crimea and alleged Russian cyber attacks on the west, arguing publicly during the first visit of a UK foreign secretary to the country in over five years, APA reported citing ITV News.
The foreign secretary had noted before his trip to Moscow that relations between the UK and Russia "haven't been so bad for a very long time", and during the meeting and a press conference Johnson brought up the contentious issues.
Sergey Lavrov denied claims that Moscow had interfered in democratic elections online and accused Johnson of being a "hostage" of untrue Western narratives on the issue.
But Johnson insisted there was "abundant evidence" of Russian interference in polls in the US, Germany, Denmark and France.
And when the Russian foreign minister said that Johnson himself had confirmed Russia had not interfered in the UK's election and Brexit referendum, the Foreign Secretary interrupted to add: "Not successfully."
Lavrov accused Johnson of making the accusation up and "taking it out of thin air".
During the meeting Lavrov agreed "it's no secret relations are not good", adding: "You prefer to talk about our differences publicly, we prefer to do it face to face."