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Boris Johnson: No Cold War with Russia

Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Secretary has told MPs that Russia shouldn't be compared to the Soviet Union and "will not talk about a new Cold War."

Speaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Thursday, Boris Johnson said: "We have no quarrel with the Russian people. We are not hostile to Russia as a country - far from it. It's doing many many terrible things [but] I don't think Russia today can be compared to the Soviet Union.

"I don't think it is as much of a threat to the stability of the world as the former Soviet Union. I don't think it's right to talk about a new Cold War, but it is obvious we have a serious problem.

"Our sanctions are biting, the Russian economy shrank by almost 3.5% last year, it is tough for people in Russia but the regime seems determined to remain on its present course.

"We have to engage with Russia, we have to persuade Vladimir Putin there is another path for him and his government. If he was to lead the way and bring peace to Syria then he would deserve credit and the thanks to people of this world.

"If Russia continues on the present path of barbarism then [they are] in danger of being reduced to the status of a rogue nation."