There you are, you slog your guts out in the Russian Foreign Service then hit the jackpot with a plum posting to the UK, and you think life is great, plenty to see, plenty to do, and you get a chance to do some spying to justify your existence.
Then someone comes along using a Russian-made nerve agent attempts to murder Sergei Skripal and his daughter, and then others get affected and bob’s your uncle, you have a shit storm at your door and you done nothing.
The attempted murder of Sergei Skripal was a big no no, bad concept, bad idea and the kicker, using a Russian-made nerve agent, a receipt for disaster. And that is what we have here, a disaster for the Russians.
is to expel 23 Russian diplomats; they have a week to leave having been
identified as "undeclared intelligence officers". As the old saying
goes, that’s gotta hurt, after all, most of these people, if not all probably
had nothing to do with the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal. UK
One would imagine that the 23 are feeling hard done by; I know I would in a situation that like, of course, the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the
is necessary. Use of a Russian-made nerve agent isn’t just unacceptable use of
force it is squarely in the ball park of terrorism. UK
Yesterday on twitter, I ventured the notion that if the Russian Ambassador was deported then, he should not go alone on the flight home, there should be lots going with him.
23 Russian diplomats or "undeclared intelligence officers" or spies fit into the category of ‘lots’.
Having 23 "undeclared intelligence officers" sent home or out the door would only be "unacceptable, unjustified and short-sighted if they had nothing to do with it, but Moscow refuses to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury.
This is no time to be cute!
To show how serious this situation is and it is serious, The PM also revoked an invitation to
's foreign minister, and said
the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year. Russia
Former spy Mr Skripal is 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill, since he was a prisoner exchange, he has no value, killing him is meaningless, at 66 years old, his death serves no purpose. If the Russians had hanged on, natural causes would have done the job for them. As to targeting his daughter, well, that’s rather careless isn’t it, it rather suggests that some people have been watching too many Spy movies and think they are a Russian James Bond.
The PM is sending a strong signal to the Russians which they need to sit up and take notice of, yes, the security services knew of "undeclared intelligence officers" but as we also have our "undeclared intelligence officers" wandering around
drinking vodka and
presumably shagging Russian birds, everyone was pretty much happy. Moscow
is not happy which means: UK
The expulsion of 23 diplomats - who have one week to leave
Increased checks on private flights, customs and freight
The freezing of Russian state assets where there is evidence they may be used to threaten the life or property of
nationals or residents UK
Ministers and Royal Family to boycott the Fifa World Cup in
later this year Russia
The suspension of all planned high level bi-lateral contacts between the
UK and Russia
Plans to consider new laws to increase defences against "hostile state activity"
I guess, 23 "undeclared intelligence officers" from the UK will be heading home as well, I would assume they are just as unhappy as their Russian counterparts, maybe they bump into each other in Moscow Airport and discuss who was the bastard that fucked it up for all of them.
The current tact of
is rather stupid, sarcasm, contempt, threats and defiance isn’t the way to go;
something appears to have seriously gone wrong on so many levels. It seems that
Putin’s Russia is in need of a tune up, the Cold War is over, is there any
point in a new one, especially in this day and age. The Wall has come down, the
landscape is changed, and we are supposed to be living in an age of
co-operation, at least on the surface. Moscow
office has updated its advice on travel to , saying "heightened
political tensions" mean Britons should "be aware of the possibility
of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time". I think that is
code for the Russia and its various
arms, the ordinary Russian is much like your ordinary person anywhere; they don’t
have time for this type of crap. The PM says its was "tragic" that
Russian President Vladimir Putin had "chosen to act in this way",
Putin is ex KGB. Russian
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Britain of "playing politics", well have they, the Russian response is not what the people of the UK would expect from them in a matter of such seriousness, murder is never a game and to use a Russian-made nerve agent, that’s called advertising, and in case the ‘dumb’ Brits didn’t get it, RT, the Russian Channel crowing that Britain wasn’t a safe place for spies, well that’s just pouring petrol on an out of control fire. The
is to brief the UN Security
Council on the investigation and also updated Nato's North Atlantic Council. At
the meeting, Nato allies expressed "deep concern" at the use of a
nerve agent and said it was a "clear breach of international norms and agreements". UK
Although 23 Russian "undeclared intelligence officers are getting kicked out which will result in a ‘tit for tat’, we should remember that the
didn’t start this, whoever did this the Russians need to find them and remove
them. Skripal came to the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap" after he
had been convicted by Russia of passing information to MI6, as such he was off
limits as was his daughter, a deal was made which has been broken. UK
Finally; Skripal was no use as an asset or even as a target now, he is a British citizen, by his conviction, the Russians had their victory.
This episode now makes that a loss.
As to those Russian staff in the Embassy in
, well, they can expect to be followed
about by the UK Security Services who will be taken a more profound interest in
their comings and goings. London
The Campaign for Human Rights at