Russia hopes for better UK ties after Johnson quits

As Britain's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson had travelled to Moscow in December on the first official visit there by a British foreign minister in five years

The Kremlin on Tuesday said it hoped to see an improvement in ties with the UK after Boris Johnson resigned as Britain's foreign minister in disagreement over the country's Brexit strategy.

"We are waiting for things to clear up politically in Britain," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, suggesting Moscow was not too sad to see the minister go.

"Unfortunately his contribution to the development of bilateral ties with Russia was rather modest, to put it mildly," he remarked.

"And certainly sooner or later, we will wait for some sort of rational explanations or arguments over the recent situation in Salisbury and the situation that followed," he added, referring to two cases of nerve agent poisonings in southwest England.

Johnson had in December travelled to Moscow in an effort to mend ties after years of antagonism in the first official visit by a British foreign minister in five years.

But relations hit a new low in March after a former double agent from Russia, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were targeted with a potent nerve agent in Salisbury in an attack London blamed on Moscow.

They have since recovered but 10 days ago, a couple in the same area became critically ill after coming in contact with the same nerve agent, Novichok, with the woman dying on July 8.

Her partner remains in critically condition, with Britain once again pointing the finger at Russia.

But the Kremlin has dismissed as "absurd" suggestions Moscow had any involvement in the incident.

Peskov also wished the England team -- which has reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years -- good luck when they face Croatia in Russia on Wednesday.

"Certainly we are expecting the England players to show us some beautiful football. They know how to do it," Peskov said.

British officials have boycotted the World Cup which is being hosted by Russia after blaming Moscow for the attempted assassination of the Skripals.

As Britain's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson had travelled to Moscow in December on the first official visit there by a British foreign minister in five years