Monday, July 16, 2007

Russia vs UK

The Litveninko murder is shaping up to be a real row. I find this sort of thing highly interesting because, frankly, it hasn't happened much in my news-aware lifetime.

Britain and Russia are on Monday braced for a major diplomatic stand-off, as London formally responds to Moscow’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, wanted by UK authorities for the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Amid intense speculation that Britain will expel Russian diplomats from London for the first time in more than a decade, David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary, is preparing to outline the action to be taken in a statement to parliament this afternoon.

I think the whole murder is intriguing. The use of polonium 210 as a poisoning agent seems almost intentionally blunt. I'm no expert on international diplomatic intrigue, but it would appear to me that this case, much like the Iranian abduction of British sailors, is being used to intentionally provoke the UK to gauge Britain's resolve and mettle.

It would appear, at least for now, that the British are much more willing to get nitty gritty with Russia than Iran.