British foreign minister mocked by Russia after geography gaffe
Liz Truss said that the UK’s “Baltic allies” were located on the Black Sea, despite them being over 1,000km apart
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been slammed by Russia’s Foreign Ministry after a geography error confusing two different bodies of water in Europe, over 1,000km away from each other.
In an interview with the BBC, Truss explained that London is “supplying and offering additional support into our Baltic allies across the Black Sea,” despite the fact that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are located nowhere near the southeast European body of water.
“Mrs. Truss, your knowledge of history is nothing compared to your knowledge of geography,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel.
“To ‘defend the Baltics,’ you don’t go through the Black Sea, but through the Baltic Sea. The Baltic states are so called because they are located on the shores of this sea. And not the Black Sea,” she continued.
According to Zakharova, Truss’ lack of geography chops is evidence that the world needs to be saved from the “stupidity and uneducatedness of Anglo-Saxon politicians,” noting that the head of the Foreign Office probably should know a thing or two about where countries are.
“This is not even because she is the British foreign secretary. What criteria are used to assign ministerial portfolios in developed monarchical democracies are none of our business. But it is because England used to be a great maritime power – and still is,” she explained.
The criticism of Truss follows an accusation by Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy ambassador at the United Nations, that the British government is untrustworthy.
“I think, in recent years, British diplomacy has shown that it is absolutely worthless,” Polyansky said. “I really don’t want to offend anybody, especially my good friends, British diplomats, but really, the results are nothing to boast about.”
On Wednesday, following a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter that he had expressed “deep concern” about Russia’s hostile activity on the Ukrainian border.
“Any further incursion into Ukrainian territory would be a tragic miscalculation,” he wrote. “Dialogue and diplomacy is the only way forward.”