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Friday, July 11, 2008

Telegraph Wants Russia out of G-8

An editorial in the Telegraph calls for Russia's expulsion from the G-8:

The Prime Minister is sometimes accused of running the country on the principles of Soviet diktat, and Gordon Brown is certainly not a politician used to taking "niet" for an answer. But that is precisely the response he received during his first meeting with Russia's new president, Dmitri Medvedev, at the G8 summit in Japan, where he raised a number of important issues that have led to the recent dramatic decline in relations between Moscow and London.

The leaders met against a backdrop of alarming reports that Russia now constitutes the third largest threat to Britain's national security after Iran and al-Qa'eda, and that Moscow's FSB intelligence service was directly responsible for the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with polonium-210 in a London hotel in 2006.

Not surprisingly, Mr Brown is keen for Moscow to hand over the prime suspect in the Litvinenko murder case, the former FSB agent Andrei Lugovoi, to stand trial. The Prime Minister also sought an assurance from Mr Medvedev that he would reopen the British Council offices in St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg, which were closed when Britain decided to press charges against Mr Lugovoi.

Mr Medvedev responded negatively to both requests, as he did on another urgent issue: the future of BP's joint venture with a consortium of Russian investors to develop Russia's vast energy resources. Lord Robertson, the former defence secretary, who is the venture's deputy chairman, has accused his Russian partners of waging a campaign of intimidation to force BP to end its participation.

Mr Brown sought assurances that the Russians would stop causing difficulties for BP employees working in Russia, but received none.

It is all a far cry from those heady days five years ago, when Vladimir Putin made his historic state visit to Britain. That was when Tony Blair and other world leaders believed Russia could become a valued ally and partner in tackling global issues, from climate change to terrorism. It also explained Moscow's invitation in 1998 to participate in the annual G7 summit for world leaders, which duly became G8.

That was before Russia's oil riches began to swell the Kremlin's coffers, since when Moscow's ruling elite has been inclined to indulge in the politics of gangsterism and corruption, rather than democracy and the rule of law. Britain is far too small a country to tackle Russia's bully-boy tactics alone: that is a job that requires the Western powers to act in unison.

They could make a start by threatening to expel the Russians from the elite G8 club, unless they agree to mend their uncouth ways.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to the Telegraph, other media and a number of brainiac pundits who claim to be "experts" in whatever (somebody shoot me please or give me pills I can't take any more) but decisions taken by the G8 unanimous hence requiring that Russia vote itself of the G8- while of course, it is of any relevance to the developing world. The rest is just wishful thinking that indicates a worrying inability to comprehend and come to terms with reality over fantasy.

La Russophobe said...

We hate to break it to you but:

(a) If the G-8 members decided to refuse to meet with Russia they can do so. They can go right back to the G-7 and the G-8 will cease to exist, except for Russia sitting in a room all alone.

(b) Your inability to give any substantive reason Russia should be in the G-8 based on its credentials is pretty damning proof that it should be out.

(c) What the other G-8 members do is totally irrelevant. If the US demands that Russia be booted out, it will be. The G-8 without the US is meaningless. If you think the other members will chose Russia over the US if forced to do so, then you need to have your "brain" examined.

Dimwit.

Anonymous said...

(a) If the G-8 members decided to refuse to meet with Russia they can do so. They can go right back to the G-7 and the G-8 will cease to exist, except for Russia sitting in a room all alone.

Comment: if the board of a company meets while excluding some of its members it does not legally have the right in most countries to take any decisions. Moreover what you expect requires all the remaining members of the G8 to agree, aka dream on.

(b) Your inability to give any substantive reason Russia should be in the G-8 based on its credentials is pretty damning proof that it should be out.

Comment:
So if anonymous wanted to talk about the UK's place in the G8 without providing evidence for why it would be in woulk that be "pretty damning proof that it should be out"? Ever heard of the phrase "beside the point"?

(c) What the other G-8 members do is totally irrelevant. If the US demands that Russia be booted out, it will be. The G-8 without the US is meaningless. If you think the other members will chose Russia over the US if forced to do so, then you need to have your "brain" examined.

Comment:Yeah indeed they will do what they are told. Just like France and Germany did what they were told in 2003 and co-operated with the coalition of the willing and helped invade Iraq? Just like Japan is told to accept new members into the G8 and refuses seemingly until now without consequences? The G8 with the USA will eventually become meaningless: it does not make the decisions required to keep things moving in the world, it does not effectively tackle problems and in all likelihood it won't even consist of the world's largest economies (not democracies, for the crazed right-wing moralists). So just wake up and smell the coffee.

Dimwit.
Comment: Bravo, I'm sure Putin is shaking in his boots knowing he's found an opponent of such democratic integrity to challenge him. Gosh you must be on your way to radically changing Russia.I'm sure the Russian people have now got a new role model to look to for a peaceful and democratic future.