Vladimir Putin must find it hilarious that David Cameron won’t back Europe on Russia’s abuses

The Independent

I’m not sure who will pick up the well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the EU, but it should be the High Representative Cathy Ashton, who will be dining this Sunday with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. Cathy has more steel in her than Corby and Corus put together (albeit wrapped in a paisley shawl), but this will be tough, as the EU is finally beginning to lose patience with Russia.

Successive European leaders used to fly solo to Moscow and do their own little deals with Vladimir Putin, but Russia’s disgraceful intransigence on Syria, together with the departure of Putin’s mate Silvio Berlusconi and arrival of François Hollande in France, has persuaded them that Europe needs to adopt a more united front. All of this puts Cathy firmly in the driving seat in the run-up to the EU-Russia summit later this year.

Sadly, the fly in the ointment is David Cameron, who is trying to play both ends against the middle. British relations with Moscow have been fraught since the murders in Britain of Alexander Litvinenko and in Russia of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who worked for a British firm.

Earlier this year, the Commons unanimously passed a motion demanding that anyone involved in Magnitsky’s death or the corruption he unveiled should be barred from Britain. Yet at a Council of Europe meeting last Tuesday five Tory MPs (Brian Binley, James Clappison, Edward Leigh, Ian Liddell-Grainger and Robert Walter), two Tory peers (the Baronesses Eaton and Eccles) and one Lib Dem (Mike Hancock) voted with representatives of Putin’s party against a report criticising human rights abuses in Russia.

With torture endemic in the Russian criminal justice system, the courts subjugated to political control, politicians imprisoning their opponents, independent journalists murdered with impunity and pride marches banned for a hundred years, it’s difficult to see how these British politicians can square their vote with their conscience, unless their sole motivation is mercantilist. This is just shabby appeasement – and all the evidence is that, far from impressing Putin, this kind of craven behaviour makes him even more disdainful of lily-livered Western ideas about human rights.

The story that Henry Kissinger asked “what number do I call when I want to call Europe?” may be apocryphal, but Cathy Ashton jokes that she has an answer anyway. If the US president rings her he first gets some options, “for the German position press 1; for the Italian position press 2; and for the British position call back later”. It’s a nice joke, but the truth is that Europe needs to speak with a single voice if it doesn’t want to be laughed at by Putin, and Cameron needs to butch up. займ на карту онлайн unshaven girls https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-cash-advances.php займы на карту срочно

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One Response to “Vladimir Putin must find it hilarious that David Cameron won’t back Europe on Russia’s abuses”

  1. Dawn says:

    Do they remember voting? Did anyone test them for SP-17? There certainly has to be a plausible explanation for such a huge lapse in judgment! Are they really that lacking in common sense? Maybe they’ve been bribed or are being blackmailed?

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