Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the article by the Conservative Party MP Bob Seely in the “Daily Telegraph”

Question: How would you comment on the article by the Conservative Party MP Bob Seely in the “Daily Telegraph” claiming that Russia is “buying some European states and bullying others”, making it “difficult for the EU to unite against Russia”?

Answer: Bob Seely’s article amounts to a manifesto of British russophobic circles. Such people tend to consider any social and economic phenomena in Europe through the lens of confrontation with the “aggressive Russia”.

It’s difficult to disprove Mr Seely’s arguments one by one as they contain too many twisted facts, unsubstantiated statements and undisguised manipulations. Yet, we would like to recall the main points. The so-called “annexation” of Crimea was a result of a free expression of will by the people of the peninsula in response to a coup d’etat in Kiev and a real risk of a civil war. “The war with Georgia” in 2008 started with a Georgian offensive, including against Russian peacekeepers. The claims about “mass killings in Syria” sound absurd when made by British politicians given their own government’s years-long indulgence towards terrorist groups in that country and against the background of Russia’s persistent efforts to help Syrians to return to a peaceful life. And, last but not least, Russia’s responsibility for poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal has not been proven either by the USA, or by Britain itself.

Anyway, another point is much more interesting. The Conservative MP is claiming that he is “not being anti-Russian, but pro-democracy”. But it looks like his understanding of democracy differs from ours. Mr Seely seems to think that not only the referendum in Crimea, but also the outcome of elections in the US, Austria and Italy, and economic cooperation between Russia and Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus are indicative of the Kremlin “achieving its disrupting aims” and thus something that goes against the interests of democracy.

At the same time Mr Seely states that the task of “Global Britain” is “to help align the US and Europe as well as the allies throughout the world for the mutual security of all”. Apparently, the idea of “Global Britain” is to make nations choose their leaders and conduct trade based not on their own preferences, but on the imaginary “security interests” defined in London and Washington in response to the non-existent “Russian threat”. Such policy is unlikely to have a future.