Posts Tagged ‘Putin’
Russia was tracking the assassins of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but was warned off by Britain, which said the situation was “under control”, according to claims made in a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The secret memo, recording a 2006 meeting between an ex-CIA bureau chief and a former KGB officer, is set to reignite the diplomatic row surrounding Litvinenko’s unsolved murder that year, which many espionage experts have linked directly to the Kremlin.
Russia’s leadership and supine television channels were deafeningly silent this morning over revelations that US diplomats view Russia as a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy.Damning cables sent to Washington by successive ambassadors in Moscow were disclosed by WikiLeaks today and published in the Guardian. The blunt reports – which conclude that Russia is a criminal state dominated by venal and bribe-hungry officials – appeared to throw a spanner in the works of “resetting” US-Russia relations, a key foreign policy objective for both countries.
US diplomats have reported startling suspicions that Silvio Berlusconi could be “profiting personally and handsomely” from secret deals with the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, according to cables released by WikiLeaks. Exasperated by Berlusconi’s pro-Russian behaviour, American embassy staff detail allegations circulating in Rome that the Italian leader has been promised a cut of huge energy contracts. The two men are known to be personally close, but this is the first time allegations of a financial link have surfaced.
Hillary Clinton’s state department in Washington sent a special request to the Rome embassy this year, asking for extra intelligence-gathering on the allegations about the men: “What personal investments, if any, do they have that might drive their foreign or economic policies?”. References to Berlusconi’s “financially enriching relationship” originated both from members of his own political party and from the hostile government of Georgia, according to the leaked cables.