New British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday appointed key Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson as British Foreign Secretary and Russian officials have reacted to the news with optimism, hoping that the new appointment will usher in a period of warmer relations between the two countries.
British Prime Minister Theresa May filled out her Cabinet posts Thursday, assembling a government that sweeps away many of her predecessor's supporters and places strongly anti-EU figures in key worldwide roles.
"People are experiencing a rude awakening after irresponsible politicians first lured the country into Brexit and then, once the decision was made, chose to bolt from responsibility", German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
The surprise choice drew a withering response from French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who described the former London mayor as a liar.
Ayrault said people had seen Johnson's style during the referendum campaign, adding that he "lied a lot to the British people" while campaigning to leave the European Union. But completely different political tasks now stand at the forefront: "this is about taking foreign policy responsibility beyond Brexit". "We will work constructively with the newly elected government in these hard times, as we have in the past", the German politician said in a statement.
"It's too early for most people to experience any direct economic impacts from Brexit, but fear for the future is clearly being felt by many", said Bobby Duffy, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI. He said Johnson must first apologize to Obama for referring to his "part-Kenyan" ancestry and then apologize to European Union leaders for saying their plans for Europe were similar to Hitler's.
European Parliament chief Martin Schulz yesterday took aim at Prime Minister Theresa May's new cabinet, saying it continued a "dangerously vicious cycle" that will hurt Britain and Europe. - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, in Berlin, when asked about previous undiplomatic comments by Johnson.
When she was running for the Conservative leadership, May promised that "Brexit means Brexit", and her appointments of Johnson, Davis and arch-euroskeptic Trade Secretary
Davis has previously said Britain should take a "brisk but measured" approach to exit talks with the European Union, invoking Article 50 of the European Union constitution - the formal trigger for two years of exit negotiations - by the start of 2017. - Tim Farron, leader of Britain's opposition Liberal Democrats.
Thursday, May announced more Cabinet appointments, placing strongly anti-EU figures in key global roles.
Wednesday, waves as she leaves after a cabinet meeting at number 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain on July 12, 2016.
In her first move, she replaced UK Chancellor George Osborne with close friend Hammond, whose role as foreign secretary in David Cameron's Cabinet will be taken over by Johnson.
New British Treasury chief Hammond tried to sound a reassuring note Thursday, pledging that he would not introduce an emergency national budget - even though there are question marks hanging over the economy following the country's decision to leave the EU. "London provides a crucial financial service", he said.