Putin tries to shoot down Berezovsky. The tycoon prefers other arguments
Against a background of a diplomatic war that has begun between Moscow and London, the Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who now has asylum in the Great Britain, has made new sensational announcements aimed at adding fuel to the fire.
Some Britain media reported that the MI5 and MI6 Secret Intelligence Services had arrested in London a person who prepared an attempt on Berezovsky’s life. Ostensibly, the killer was going to shoot Berezovsky in the head during the meeting in the Hilton Hotel in London. Just there he was detained. “I was informed by Scotland Yard that my life was in danger and they recommended that I leave the country. I left three weeks ago but have now returned” – Berezovsky said the Times in Julie, 17.
Now the Britain officials give no comments. A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "We are not prepared to discuss it." He also did not confirm or deny whether anyone had been arrested.
Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Yuri Fedotov, told BBC Radio, there was "nothing that could confirm" the plot and stated, that it was excluded that Russian government could be involved in it.
According to political analyst Vladimir Pribylovsky, one should not completely exclude possibility of attempt to kill Berezovsky. “Our authority is not a single whole and not always its activities are logical and rational”, - he said to Polit.ru, - “within one group, for bureaucratic interests of a group abolition of Berezovsky can seem efficient. For example, murder of Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev harmed Russia’s interests but that did not prevent a certain group in Kremlin from being proud of it”.
At the same time the analyst says that Brezovsky plays a significant role being for Kremlin a symbol of the world evil. That is very important for regime’s stability just as existence of a devil is very important for religious systems. “And since our sovereign democracy is nothing but a religious system, he (Berezovsky) has a significant place of the Father of the all evil”. – emphasizes the analyst.
One more announcement of Berezovsky concerned the possibility of his trial. In Russia several criminal cases are initiated against him; at the moment in Moscow began a court in absentia of fraud and laundering money of the Aeroflot Company. Berezovsky refused to present in the court and forbade his lawyers to take part in it. Besides that, recently FSB charged the tycoon with attempt of organizing in Russia a coup d’etat.
Speaking on BBC, Berezovsky said that he was ready to face trial in any third country, for example, in Germany, Denmark or Norway but only if Andrei Lugovoi, accused by the UK of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, did the same. Berezovky added: “Maybe the Russian constitution is against [extradition] but Lugovoi personally, if he wants to clear the situation, he is able to travel anywhere he wants if he feels he is not guilty."
At the same time he expressed assurance that Russia would never let Lugovoi travel anywhere and that Putin personally masterminded this murder.
All that news followed just after the Britain Ministry of Foreign Affairs had announced its decision to expel four Russian diplomats and introduce visa limitations for Russian officials in response to Moscow’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi. Russia threatened with appropriate answer – now it is expected that some Britain envoys will be expelled from Moscow. Thus, a squabble between Moscow and London that lasted already for several months turned to official diplomatic level. Nobody understands how the conflict can be resolved; the only consolidation is that it does not still concern business relations.
Vladimir Pribylovsky considers that all actions of Britain’s authorities are just a response to indignant public opinion. “Extradition of Lugovoi is not a efficient demand but nothing else than propaganda as well as a hysterics about all that kind of stuff in Russia.” – the analyst says. He indicates that the West countries, including the Great Britain, have real instruments of pressure on Russia, for example, accounts of Russian officials in banks, multitude offshore territories of the Russian elite on Britain Virgin Islands.
“They don’t want use these instruments though”, - the analyst adds, - “All they need is to calm the public opinion down, so they expel diplomats, although it is a double-edged weapon”.
In his turn, a director general of the Centre for Current Politics Mikhail Vinogradov notes that it is important for Berezovsky that his name would not be forgotten in the current Russian-Britain conflict. “It is not important whether the attempt on him is true or not, he is seeking for any cause to appear in press” – Vinogradov said to polit.ru
According to him, Berezovsky is not so dangerous, so that there is no point in killing him, although there was also no point in killing Litvinenko. Nevertheless, reckons the analyst, there are no reasons to consider that Berezovsky is in mortal danger just now.
From the other hand, supposes Vinogradov, Russian authorities would feel themselves more comfortable without Berezovsky. First, his example doesn’t scare the Russian elite, second, he will be never handed over by the UK, so, this case is an example of Russian justice failure and weakness of the authorities. At the same time now the Kremlin is interested in appeasement of relations with the West because of Sochi 2014. “This factor will admonish all Russian politicians of any strict and inconsequent steps,” – concluded Vinogradov.