BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Media sanguine over UK row
Russian press

The Russian media report the row with the UK calmly, although some commentators are puzzled about the UK's motives and critical of what they see as double standards.

Other outlets look ahead to the situation blowing over quickly, and the official government newspaper even calls for the "spitting contest" to stop.

More broadly, one paper sees a possible threat to business ties, while a radio station feels it looks like Russia has something to hide.

CORRESPONDENT ON OFFICIAL STATE ROSSIYA TV

Even the British themselves don't know how this will unfold further, not least because London can be suspected of applying double standards... The fact that other countries have laws and even a constitution appears to disturb British ministers to the depths of their souls... It seems as if a scandal was the main purpose of this whole story.

CORRESPONDENT ON STATE-CONTROLLED CHANNEL ONE

Foreign Secretary David Miliband knew full well that in Russia it is the FSB that plays a key role in the fight against terrorism. In this way Britain itself provoked Moscow's tough statement... In recent years, Russia has reacted with great restraint to unfriendly steps taken by Britain.

CORRESPONDENT ON MOSCOW-FOCUSED CENTRE TV

An eye for an eye, a diplomat for a diplomat... It wasn't Russia that began this. When the investigation was launched into Litvinenko's death, Russia was ready to cooperate. But Lugovoy's extradition to Britain was impossible because the constitution doesn't allow it. Now Britain is advising Russia to correct its basic law. Other countries have asked in vain for Britain to hand over suspects.

SERGEY KARAGANOV IN GOVERNMENT PAPER ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA

If Russia had simply accepted Britain's demarche, it would have meant an admission of guilt of some kind. Moscow did not do that even during the Cold War... The British boxed themselves into a corner... Russia's reaction was spot-on... It is now time to stop. This exercise increasingly resembles a contest between boys as to who can spit the furthest.

ANALYST ALEKSEY GROMYKO QUOTED IN NOVYYE IZVESTIYA

Russia could only take similar action or signify readiness for a goodwill gesture. It did not manage a goodwill gesture, unsurprisingly... If common sense prevails, they could forget all about the conflict in a matter of months.

CORRESPONDENT ON GAZPROM-OWNED NTV

At the moment the scandal looks like a sensation, but time will pass and in a month the crisis will probably have blown over. There have been even trickier times in the history of Russian-British relations.

ALEKSANDR GABUYEV IN BROADSHEET KOMMERSANT

Moscow has decided to escalate the conflict. However, Vladimir Putin described it as just a 'mini crisis' which the sides can deal with... But it looks like the situation could last for quite a long time. A veiled threat to the UK was discernible when a business leader said Russian companies could leave the London Stock Exchange.

SERGEY BUNTMAN ON EKHO MOSKVY RADIO

There's nothing surprising about Russia's response. However, Russia has escalated the situation by refusing to cooperate in the fight against terrorism... It looks as if Russia didn't want this cooperation... With every gesture Russia makes, the suspicion hardens that the Kremlin has something to hide.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Russia
19 May 07 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific