"Litvinenko would be happy…
Writing about web page http://izvestia.ru/politic/article3106272/
The escalating tension between London and Moscow on the murder case of Mr. Litvinenko is, as expected, among the headlines in Russian press. I thought it would be interesting to see what the reports in Moscow say. And here’s one of them:
“Litvinenko would be happy…”
If he knew that the new British Prime Minister is trying to influence Russia using old methods
By Igor Yavlinskyi
The diplomatic war between London and Moscow has halted in an uncomfortable tension. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his cabinet now needs to decide how to resolve this complicated mess of a situation – a product of their own making – without losing face.
Brown declared that he “makes no apology for the decision to expel the Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom”. But – on paradox! – the PM, according to his own words, keeps counting on Russia’s cooperation in all major international deals. His optimism encourages hope, however, it is hard to envision the coexistence of these two diagonally different approaches.
The Russian Ambassador in Britain Yuri Fedotov was summoned by the Foreign Ministry before David Miliband made his official speech to the Parliament. The Minister himself evaded questions, delegating the unpleasant task to one of his aides. Our Ambassador was presented with a list of our diplomats that were to be expelled on the demands of the British. Their names remain unknown. They are reportedly officials of the “intermediate level”.
Curiously, they were granted not 24 or 48 hours for departure, as it usually happens, but 10 days.
The British press are looking for the answer to the main question: has Premier Brown miscalculated the consequences that a “diplomatic war” could potentially lead to? And this is when “there was no suggestion that any of the Russian diplomats expelled now were involved in the Litvinenko case (or in spying)” (The Independent) [the Russian version of the quote does not include or in spying. Quote retracted from http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2776147.ece]
Another relevant theme: can a freshly baked British diplomat such as David Miliband suggest that Russia changes its Constitution in order to achieve that extradition of Lugovoi? “But they say that considering the fact of murder of Mr Litvinenko, Moscow could have worked out a judicial mechanism that would allow it to satisfy the request for extradition” – The Financial Times [source not found].
One person is indisputably happy with the conflict: Litvinenko’s widow, Marina. She has already declared that she fully supports Brown’s actions.
Evidence against Andrey Lugovoi?
The full list of evidence gathered by Scotland Yard against Lugovoi is kept secret. The Russian prosecution is also in the dark.
— We requested the Lugovoi case in full from the British prosecution so that we can come to our own conclusions, but they did not fulfil it – Izvestia were told by an information source in the Office of Public Prosecutor, which is running an independent investigation into the death of Litvinenko. – They’ve only presented 20-odd pages of their own conclusions.
We’ve sent dozens of questions on 104 pages to London. They only answered a part of them. One of the half-empty responses explained that the lack of information is caused by the case being reviewed in the Royal Procurator. In another one they argue that they deem it unnecessary to answer our questions because they find it expedient. It is therefore assumed that they have only worked on their own version. We have our own ideas, but the British side didn’t provide us with the necessary information and didn’t give us the opportunity to further investigate the case. And finally, we’ve requested the British prosecution to question a number of witnesses, but they were not questioned because there was thought to be no ground for questioning. We asked the British to forensically examine Berezovski’s office and Patarkatshvili’s office. The peculiar thing is, everybody around Berezovski has been exposed to polonium, but he himself is unaffected.
The British press says that the prosecution relies on the fact that traces of polonium were, according to the British “Sherlock Holmes”, found everywhere Lugovoi set foot. In the hotel room, in the bar, on the plane, on the receipts and banknotes. An additional supporting evidence the British use claims that “polonium-210 is primarily produced in Russia”.
[text continues with quotes from other sources]