Russian oligarchs run the risk of losing British passports because of the case of Sergei Skripal, perhaps poisoned in London, and the intelligence agencies of the two countries can start a war, believes Konstantin Eggert.
I don’t know a single person who believed that Boris Berezovsky killed himself at the home of his ex-wife in 2013. I don’t believe it. Boris Abramovich, with whom I was familiar in passing, made his life a lot of unworthy acts, and probably crimes. At the same time (which many, but not to me seem paradoxical) he was a believer and knew for sure, suicide is a mortal sin and a direct path to hell.
New “Berezovsky case“?
Berezovsky is one of fourteen Russians, whose deaths still seem to many in Britain are suspicious. Perhaps his case will be re-opened if the government of Her Majesty unimet the call of the head of the parliamentary home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper. She urged the office to investigate these fourteen deaths again. The fifteenth and sixteenth could be ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia. They were found semi-conscious on a bench in the Salisbury city centre in the South East of England.
Skripal, who was convicted in 2006 in Russia for treason and exchanged four years later on Anna Chapman and other Russian agents lived there for the last eight years. Today, he and his daughter Julia are in a critical condition in hospital. And the Cabinet has gathered for a special meeting. At the meeting, representatives of security services and police told the Ministers about what is known today about the incident. The investigation leads the anti-terrorist unit of Scotland Yard.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has said in the House of Commons: if it is proved “the Russian track” in Skripal, then London will take retaliatory measures – including a possible boycott the world championship on football. However, it remains unclear, affect whether a hypothetical boycott of England (the only British team that reached the final stage of the 2018 world Cup) or will be reduced to the refusal of the British official representatives to come to Russia for the opening ceremony of the championship. Suspicion immediately fell on Russia – because of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in the UK no one has forgotten.
Jeremy Corbyn, the bankers and oligarchs
The scandal promises to be loud and seriously damage traditional Russian channels of influence in the UK. It is primarily those who serve the interests of Russian oligarchs and their families – bankers, real estate company premium law firms. To potential “agents of influence” include lobbyists for energy companies operating in Russia; a number of journalists, mostly (though not exclusively) left wing; plus the number of deputies of the Parliament, as a rule, skeptics and isolationists. However, in contrast to continental Europe, here in the front row is not a right, and the labour party. In 2015, its leadership took control of the ultra-left. The party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime friend of the deceased Soviet Union, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. He strongly dislikes NATO and the United States.
Litvinenko and Berezovsky were killed prior to the current cold war 2 between the Kremlin and the West. The story with Skripal happened in its midst. This gives the offspring a special meaning. In London, especially in the security services, for many a long time itching to avenge not only the Kremlin, but a private establishment for apparent unwillingness to investigate the deaths of Kremlin opponents on British soil.
Concerns affect the business of BP and Royal Dutch Shell in Russia, plus the fear of a new special operations Moscow was made the first Cabinet of labour’s Gordon brown, then Prime Minister-conservative David Cameron to extinguish any scandals with “Russian trace”. It has changed after the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. History Sergei Skripal gives hardliners in London chance. Moreover, the current Cabinet, Theresa may and so be accused of spinelessness in negotiations in Brussels on the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Deprivation of British citizenship? Not a problem
In addition to public actions like the boycott of the football championship of the world may follow the standard: a) the expulsion of Russian diplomats (has happened before); b) criminal cases against Kremlin-connected oligarchs with assets in the UK; C) deprivation of citizenship of Russians and members of their families who received it as a result of naturalization. This last measure, paradoxically, the easiest to implement.
The Minister of internal Affairs of the Kingdom has the right to deprive any naturalized foreigner of British citizenship if it was obtained through fraud or … if this act will promote “the public good”. The term “public good” can be interpreted as anything, and the Minister is not obliged to explain how and why.
Moreover, the passport can be taken away, even if you lose will remain without citizenship. The fact is that, legally, British citizenship is the gift of the monarch, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II owns the interior Minister. The number of immigrants from Russia, who in the last 15-20 years the owners of “the lion and the unicorn” as it is often traditionally referred to as a British passport is tens of thousands. Some (well, few) of them now have the nerve.
Is this story another dimension. As he wrote in The Guardian’s former Moscow correspondent Luke Harding, during, and after the cold war, the warring intelligence services acted an unwritten rule of the country who were pardoned and exchanged foreign spies on his former enemies no longer bother and threaten them. This helps to maintain trust between governments in the case that will require a new exchange of unmasked agents.
If in London, you will find that the Russian security services have broken this tacit agreement, in addition to new investigations of the mysteries of recent years, including the death of Berezovsky, we are waiting for a full-scale spy war between Russia and the United Kingdom.
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