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'Catastrophic Illiteracy': Moscow Reacts to Truss Resignation

Liz Truss on Red Square in Moscow in February 2022. Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Russia reacted to the resignation of British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday by calling the short-serving British premier a "disgrace."

"Britain has never known such a disgrace of a prime minister,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel.

"She will be remembered for her catastrophic illiteracy," Zakharova added.

The next day, the Kremlin said it was not expecting any "political wisdom" from the United Kingdom or any of its Western allies.

"We cannot expect any insights or political wisdom from anyone in the West now... especially from Great Britain, where the current head of the executive is not elected by the people," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Truss was in office for just 45 days before announcing her resignation on Thursday, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.

During her brief premiership, Truss had taken a hard line against Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine.

"Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent," Truss said in her resignation speech, which she delivered outside No. 10 Downing Street.

"I recognize, though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected,” Truss added.

Before becoming prime minister last month, Truss had served as British foreign secretary — a role in which she was criticized by officials in Moscow for what they called her failed attempts to bolster relations between the U.K. and Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described his talks with Truss during a visit to Moscow shortly before the invasion of Ukraine as being like conversations "between the deaf and the dumb."

In her tense meeting with Lavrov, she also confused two regions of Russia with regions of Ukraine.

Relations between Russia and the U.K., already strained due to a litany of issues, deteriorated even further due to the war in Ukraine.

Also on Thursday, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace revealed that a Russian fighter jet had "released" a missile in the direction of a British military aircraft flying over the Black Sea, in an incident Russia later claimed was caused by a "technical malfunction."

Wallace said he had been in touch with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu to express the U.K. government's concern about the event.

AFP contributed reporting.

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