It would have been so easy for Britain to avoid any more problems with Vladimir Putin and make the pragmatic decision to wash its hands of a troublesome journalist. In this world of realpolitik, such a decision would come as no surprise. But Britain did not – instead it decided to stand up for human rights.
Could it be that the British Government, unlike other European governments, has finally realised that appeasing the Kremlin has only made Russia’s abuses of power and human rights worse? Far from fostering democracy in Russia, appeasement of Putin’s regime has led to a situation in which a man could be killed with radioactive material in the centre of London by an agent of the Russian state.
Yelena Tregubova: Free at last from President Putin’s fearsome grip
The Independent, 4 April 2008