Thursday, July 19, 2007
Diplomatic Tennis
The Brits lob one over the net and the Russians send it winging back.

In response to Britain's expulsion of 4 Russian diplomats as a protest for Russia refusing to extradite Andrei Lugovoi to face charges in the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russians are now expelling 4 British diplomats.

In addition, Russia is vowing to stop cooperating with Britain on counter-terrorism efforts. Now that is surely not good news, but, in my opinion, Russia has only been pretending to be an ally in the GWOT. So, no big surprise.

There is also further information today about that attempt on Boris Berezovsky's life, first reported here yesterday.

The murder of a second Russian dissident on British soil was averted last month when police and intelligence agencies intercepted a suspected killer in London, it was confirmed last night.

In a move likely to damage already strained relations between Britain and Russia, Scotland Yard said that officers arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder on June 21 and held him for two days. He was later handed over to the immigration service and deported back to Russia.

The man arrived in London in mid-June allegedly with orders to murder the billionaire Russian exile Boris Berezovsky, a staunch opponent of President Putin, who has been granted asylum to live in Britain.


In the latest case, MI5 and MI6 had been alerted to the plot and were awaiting the man’s arrival in Britain. He was identified as he arrived on June 16 at Heathrow and placed under round-the-clock surveillance. He checked into the Hilton hotel on Park Lane close to Mr Berezovsky’s offices in Mayfair. He was accompanied by a young boy, apparently as cover for his mission.

According to intelligence sources, “the surveillance appeared to corroborate the prior intelligence” of the murder plot. The arrival of the would-be killer led police to advise Mr Berezovsky to leave the country for a period. He left the same day, June 16.

Five days later the suspect was arrested by officers from the Scotland Yard Counter Terrorism Command on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. He was questioned for two days but there was insufficient evidence to proceed to a prosecution.

He was released on June 23 into the custody of the immigration service. Officials revoked his visa and he was placed on a flight to Moscow. Sources said that he would be unable to get another visa for at least ten years.

While the police would not go into detail, the statement appeared to corroborate allegations made earlier by Mr Berezovsky, who claimed that he had narrowly escaped the same fate as Mr Litvinenko, also an outspoken critic of Mr Putin. The 61-year-old tycoon said that he had first received a warning three months ago from Russian contacts with connections to the FSB, the successor to the KGB.

“They told me the FSB were creating a plot to kill me,” he said. “They told me someone who knew me would travel to London, and would call to meet me, and he would kill me and would not try to hide.

“He would explain that it was for business reasons, he had a problem with me in business, and he decided to kill me, and he will get 20 years,” said Mr Berezovsky. “He will spend ten years in jail, will be released, will have a lot of money, and be a hero of Russia. I didn’t take it seriously, but what happened is exactly what they said.”

Dude. That's just sloppy work on the part of the Russians. They are slipping a bit, or getting too cocky over their victories with Litvinenko and Politkovskaya.

Still, people who speak out against Putin don't have a very long shelf life these nice that Russia has become all Democratized and Westernized, isn't it? (That's sarcasm, folks.)


posted by Phoenix | 8:52 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home


Popular Posts:





fighting 101s