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Johnson discusses aid convoy attack with Russian counterpart

Boris Johnson and International Development Secretary Priti Patel wait to hear Theresa May address the UN General Assembly. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has met his Russian counterpart to discuss the "unacceptable" attack on an aid convoy in Syria.

Mr Johnson met Sergei Lavrov while the pair were in New York for the UN General Assembly.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: "The ministers discussed the crisis in Syria and the increase in violence in recent days, including the recent unacceptable attack on an aid convoy.

"The Foreign Secretary pressed for Russia to use its influence constructively and underlined the need for the international community to work together to resolve the conflict.

"The Foreign Secretary was clear that while ongoing disagreements mean it is too early to normalise diplomatic relations, it is right that both countries continue to discuss important global issues."


Concerns of voting violations in Russian elections

Members of local election commission empty ballot boxes to start counting vote in Russia. Credit: Reuters

The head of Russia's Central Election Commission said on Monday that the results of parliamentary elections in "several" polling stations may need to be annulled following claims of voting violations.

Ella Pamfilova said that her team would be acting "thoroughly and quickly" to investigate reports in three regions - Dagestan, Rostov and Nizhny Novgorod.

During Sunday's voting day, webcam footage from some polling stations appeared to show ballot boxes being stuffed, while other amateur footage has surfaced that appears to show alleged malpractice during monitoring of the voting process.

"The results of the election may be cancelled at several polling stations in three regions (Dagestan, Rostov and Nizhny Novgorod)," Pamfilova said. "This is based on the information we have now.

"If we receive more information we will be checking it quickly and taking decisions."

Putin hopes US will stick to its commitments over Syria

Vladimir Putin said he believed a 'truce' over Syria was a common goal with America Credit: PA

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he hopes the US will stick to its commitments over a ceasefire in Syria brokered by both countries.

Speaking to reporters in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Mr Putin added that he believed a truce in that country's conflict was the common goal of both Moscow and Washington.

Under the terms of the deal, if it lasts for a week, Russia and America will co-ordinate attacks against some rebel groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda's former Syria branch known as the Nusra Front.

Mr Putin also commented on the upcoming US presidential election, saying Moscow would support any person in any country who "is friendly to us".


Johnson: UK ready to help make Syrian ceasefire work

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has welcomed the Syrian ceasefire agreement and said the UK is ready to help make it work.

The former mayor of London made a telephone call to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in which the pair also agreed to meet on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Miliband cautiously optimistic over Syria ceasefire deal

David Miliband Credit: PA

Former foreign secretary David Miliband has expressed cautious optimism about the new Syrian ceasefire plan, but warned that much rests on President Assad.

Mr Miliband, who heads the International Rescue Committee, warned the position of Syrian President Bashar Assad is crucial to any long-term settlement after the US and Russia agreed to work together, but said early indications showed "a better short-term chance of a decent lull in the fighting than has ever happened before".

The degree of Russian engagement seems to be of a much greater order than of any of the previous ceasefire attempts.

But beyond that, it's going to be a much more tricky enterprise, not least because the Russians and Americans are meant to set up a joint command centre to target Isis and others...

The great difficulty is going to come down to the future of President Assad.

In the West he is seen as someone who has not just murdered many of his own citizens, but has radicalised those who are still there.

On the Russian side they see him as the great hope. And there is nothing in this agreement that gets over that fundamental division at this point.

– David Miliband
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