Sunday, 13 April 2014

Russia's other fifth column abroad

Putin doesn't just have the "little green men" working on his behalf. As Edward Lucas explained back in 2008:
Russia represents a powerful fifth column of a kind unseen during the last Cold War. Once it was communist trade unions that undermined the West at the Kremlin’s behest. Now it is pro-Kremlin bankers and politicians who betray their countries for thirty silver roubles. Western investment in Russia has already created a lobby for good relations with the Kremlin in the City of London, in German big business and in the energy industry across Europe. That is reinforced by the billions of dollars of Russian investment pouring into Western Europe and North America. When Russian tycoons – who these days run their businesses at the Kremlin’s bidding – own big stakes in the West’s biggest companies, they are no longer outsiders, but insiders. Russia is becoming a giant, nuclear-armed version of Saudi Arabia: a country so rich and powerful that even association with Islamic extremist causes does not bring Western disfavour.
There's a rumour that George Osborne is the staunchest opponent of sanctions against Russia in the UK Cabinet. This wouldn't surprise me as I've always thought he was an odious little creep.

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