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Interview with Boris Makarenko

Boris Makarenko, from the Moscow-based Centre for Political Technologies told Russia Today that Boris Berezovsky is using the Litvinenko case to raise his own political capital.

Boris Makarenko: Berezovsky is a gambler. Both at the time that he was playing an important role in Russia's domestic politics and now when he is de facto political emigrant. His tactics, if not strategy, is to raise stakes to a maximum and to try to out-bluff his partner. That is exactly what he was doing in the recent months.

The Litvinenko case for him was a blessing. Given the persistent demands for his extradition from London by the Russian authorities the escalation of hostility between London and Moscow, it's certainly in his favour because in this kind of environment his status as a political emigrant and a refugee is safe. So safe that he even tried to provoke not so much the Russian but the British authorities by making public calls to overthrow the Russian government. It caused nervous reactions in Moscow. However, I would assume that the British officials were even more nervous because they were dead-ended. They could not react to that statement by prosecuting Berezovsky, given his status of a political emigrant, and they could not ignore that statement because it is obviously to say the least not politically correct.

Relations will not deteriorate no matter how bad the future developments of this phrase are. We will not return to the Cold War. British companies, which were urged by the former Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw their business from Russia, will not do so not because they are necessarily happy with their business environment in Russia but because at this time with this level of oil and prices any major company in this sphere just cannot afford not to be present, not to be participating in oil and gas sphere in Russia.