Monday, January 23, 2006

The G8 Test

In its current slightly grotesque "James Bond" spying accusations against Britain, it looks as though the Russian government is testing the water as it takes up the G8 presidency. Writing in the London Times, Jeremy Page notes that
...if this does lead to the four diplomats being expelled from Russia then we can expect that London will respond by kicking the same number out of Britain. Experience suggests that these sorts of intelligence disputes rarely spill over to become major diplomatic rows. At worst, it will sour the atmosphere for a while.

"If this is true, Russia doesn't need to bang on about it. It's proved its point and convinced a large majority of the Russian population that Western funded NGOs are a real threat. The best MI6 can do is keep its head down.

"The upshot of all of this for Russia will be that it is now going to be very hard for the British government to criticise the NGOs Bill, which means it will get at least one G8 member to shut up about it."
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