31 January 2013
By Masha Karp
Masha Karp responds to the statement in a leading article by the Evening Standard (To Russia with love, 29th January 2014) that, ‘In the case of Russia a positive, open relationship, which gives scope for honest criticism, makes complete sense’.
David Cameron’s position on the Sochi Olympics — he won’t go, but his aides hastily explain this is not a snub — is pathetic. He obviously feels he did his bit of “honest criticism” when he raised gay rights at the G20 last year, and that’s enough.
Protesting against anti-gay and repressive laws might annoy Putin. Expressing support for the Ukrainian people’s desire to move towards Europe might annoy Putin. A proper investigation into Litvinenko’s murder will definitely annoy Putin. It makes for a quiet life to be as subservient as possible. But why should that be called, as your leading article puts it, “a positive, open relationship”?
This comment was first published as a Letter to the Editor in the Evening Standard on 30th January 2014.