Thursday, 3 February 2011

Luzhkov mustn't be allowed to stay in Britain.

On Sublime Oblivion Anatoly Karlin notes that the disgraced former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has been granted permission to enter Britain.  Contrary to some reports though, he has not yet received a residence permit for the UK.

Austria and Latvia have already rejected Luzhkov’s requests to live within their borders.  His family are currently in Britain and his daughters are studying at a university in London.

All sorts of Russian dissidents, out of favour oligarchs and even terrorists have chosen to make these shores their home, over the past ten years.  Boris Berezovsky, the exiled tycoon who aspires to overthrow Russia’s government by force, and the Chechen rebel Akhmed Zakayev are two of the more prominent examples.

In a recent Conservative Home article, Carl Thomson revealed that 150 extradition requests by Moscow had been rejected by the UK since 2001.  Partly the statistic is explained by links, cultural and economic, which exist between the Russian elite and Britain.  There are many Russians living here and a minority avoid Russia because of disputes with their government or problems with the law.

The UK has no need to admit another failed klepotocrat seeking to avoid fraud proceedings in his home country.  Luzhkov ran Moscow like a personal fiefdom and it is alleged that he abused his position in order to enrich his own family.

Britain has sheltered Berezovsky, a rich manipulator who played the factional game of Russian politics and lost, under the pretence that he’s a dissident and a democrat.  It mustn’t allow Luzhkov to play the same trick.  Let him visit his family and let him leave again.

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