Monday 21st of September 2020

ready, fire, aim .....

ready, fire, aim .....

Russia warns UK over expulsions

The Kremlin has warned Britain it faces "serious consequences" after expelling four Russian diplomats from the UK.

The move followed Moscow's refusal to hand over the former KGB agent accused of murdering Alexander Litvinenko in London last year.

Suspect Andrei Lugovoi, who denies involvement, claimed the charges against him had a "political subtext".

But Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain will make "no apologies" for expelling the four Russians.

Mr Brown said that because "there is no forthcoming co-operation, then action has to be taken".

The Foreign Office has not named the four Russian diplomats, but the BBC understands they are intelligence officers.

Russia Warns UK Over Expulsions

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Gus: It is well suspected in some circles that 90 per cent of any Embassy's staff are spies for whichever country they come from or are working for those who pay the most for info... double agents abound...

Miffed advice

From our ABC

Britain urges Russia not to retaliate over expulsions

Britain says no retaliation is justified from Russia over the expulsion of four diplomats.

London ordered them to leave in protest at Moscow's refusal to extradite the main suspect in the murder last year of a former Russian intelligence agent.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko says any retaliation would have to take into account the interests of ordinary Russians and businessmen.

But Moscow's ambassador in London Yuri Fedotov gave no hint of what that might be when he gave an interview.

"There are problems in our bi-lateral relations, that is true," he said.

"We have to think what can be done in order to overcome this current stage of deterioration of bi-lateral relations.

"But it all depends on the political will of the British Government."

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Gus: The fact is that Russia will or would retaliate in its own time and fashion. This is why, expecting four diplomatic staff in Moscow being thrown out, taking the brunt of the  usual tit for tat diplomacy, the Poms are a bit worried that nothing has happened yet... Hence the slightly miffed and worried advice...

Tit for tit...

Russia, Britain 'mini-crisis' can be overcome: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called a row between Moscow and London over a murder inquiry a "mini-crisis" that would be overcome if both sides show "common sense."

"You have to respect the legal rights and interests of your partners and then the situation will get better. I am sure that this mini-crisis will be overcome," Mr Putin said on the sidelines of an ethnic festival in western Russia.

"I think British-Russian relations will develop normally. We are interested in the development of relations both from the Russian side and from the British," he said.

"But all our actions should have common sense."

Russia earlier announced the expulsion of four British diplomats, a ban on visas for visiting British government officials and the suspension of counter-terrorism cooperation with London.

Blair was delusional...

Blair 'was deluded about relations with Moscow' By Colin Brown Published: 20 July 2007

Tony Blair has been criticised for being deluded over his close relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, by a former senior British diplomat, Sir Christopher Meyer.

Sir Christopher, a diplomat in the Moscow embassy before being made British ambassador to the United States, said the former prime minister had failed to secure British interests in his dealings Russia.

"Blair had a delusion - which was ridiculous - about what he could achieve, so did Bush for that matter," said Sir Christopher. "Blair was early to spot that Putin was the rising man, and he took some risks. He had a meeting with him before he became President of Russia. But in having done that, having created the relationship, the question is what do you do with it? What do you do to serve Britain's interests? There I think T Blair was stumped and never asked for anything back.

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Gus: If Blair had delusion about this aspect of diplomacy, what about the rest of his beliefs, here and there, and everywhere... Most likely he was and still is deluded about the Middle East. That could be why, Bushit made sure he got the job at head of the "quartet"... Failure by the Glorious Blair might relieve some of the pain of the failures by the failed Bushit... by playing the line it's a lot harder than it looks...

Do not play with the bear

In the Guardian

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Equally amazing are the lengths to which London went to defend a Boris Berezovsky associate. Alexander Litvinenko may have died a tragic death, but he was no saint in his life. There is little in common between the ex-security agent associated with a powerful tycoon, and dissidents of the Soviet era, such as Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, who was taken in by the US during the cold war and whose credentials were untainted. For the Russian public it does not go unnoticed that those who amassed enormous fortunes by dubious means under Boris Yeltsin, impoverishing millions of ordinary citizens, mostly end up in Britain.

English fiddle or meddle?

The head of Russia's FSB spy agency yesterday accused Britain and MI6 of leading a campaign to destabilise the country, and said that British agents were using old-fashioned techniques such as "bribery and blackmail" to recruit Russian citizens.

Nikolai Patrushev, director of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, said foreign spies were trying to weaken and dismantle Russia ahead of elections for the Duma (parliament) in December and a presidential poll next year. He singled out Britain for special mention. In an interview with the mass-selling Argumenty I Fakty newspaper, Mr Patrushev said the British intelligence agency MI6 was not only recruiting spies but was also attempting to meddle directly in Russia's internal affairs.

"nuclear smuggling"

The Russians may well have been kindly disposed towards Epstein as a sceptic of the conventional wisdom. But he tells the story of his Moscow trip rather differently. He says that it took much persistence to get to Russia, and then to gain access to the papers. As for being invited, most foreigners need an invitation from a Russian institution to obtain a visa, so Marina's point may be technically true without implying anything about Epstein's objectivity.

What he says struck him above all about the papers was the flimsiness of the British case and the lack of even a post-mortem report. In that respect, Marina may have a point about his pro-Russian sympathies. But it is the theory he eventually gravitates towards to which Marina Litvinenko so takes exception.

This is that Alexander poisoned himself while handling radioactive material. Epstein posits that Litvinenko was poisoned by accident – the post mortem, he says, would have determined whether he ingested the polonium-210 or inhaled it. Part of his thesis is that the isotope had been smuggled to London not to murder someone, but as part of an illegal nuclear transaction.

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Gus see toon on top.