Russia’s foreign ministry savaged outgoing British Prime Minister Liz Truss, calling her a disgrace of a leader who would be remembered for her “catastrophic illiteracy”.
Just minutes after Truss announced the end of her brief premiership, Moscow waded in.
“Britain has never known such a disgrace of a prime minister,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a social media post.
Truss has been the target of withering comments from Moscow since she visited in February as part of a fruitless drive by Western politicians to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The claim of illiteracy appears to refer to that trip, when Truss was British foreign minister.
In a meeting with Russia’s veteran foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, she appeared to confuse two regions of Russia with Ukraine, triggering widespread mockery in Russian media.
Russian officials took a dim view of Truss’s premiership from the outset and have revelled in her numerous gaffes.
Upon her appointment in September, Lavrov said Truss did not know how to compromise and questioned how the British leader could say she did not know whether French President Emmanuel Macron was a “friend or foe.”
Mr Macron reacted quickly to her departure – but far more diplomatically.
He said that he hoped Britain would find “stability” in the moments after Truss quit.
Dublin said Britain should appoint a new Prime Minister as “quickly as possible”.
“I think stability is very important and we would like to see the UK system within its capacity to have a successor selected as quickly as possible,” said Taoiseach Micheal Martin.
The United States said it would have a close relationship with whoever replaces Truss.