Interview with Evgeny Bazhanov
Russia Today: Did Britain overreact by expelling four diplomats?
Evgeny Bazhanov: Well, I think it's a wrong decision, very wrong decision, because Russia has been demanding the extradition of a number of persons – Russian citizens who live in the United Kingdom and who are wanted for very serious crimes including terrorism. And Britain hasn't given up any of them, and it is allowed by the British law to extradite people. And now Britain wants one person from Russia, Mr Lugovoy. But the Russian government explains that it can't be done by the Russian Constitution. And suddenly [it leads to] the expulsion of Russian diplomats. I think it's a very wrong decision. It's actually a policy of double standards.
RT: How is Russia likely to respond?
E.B.: I think what has been done by Britain towards Russia is an insult. Russia is a very proud and strong state, of course Russia will respond in kind. I don't know what is going to be done – there are hundreds of ways to respond to such a move by the British government. So I think something serious should be done and it will be done.
RT: Is Russia finding itself increasingly isolated in the international arena? Is it going to adversely affect its economic interests?
E.B.: I don't think Russia is being isolated. To the contrary Russia is more and more integrated into the world political scene and world economy. As we know we have very strong friends – China, India and dozens of other states all over the world. The West isn't the only part which exists. We have a lot of friends in other parts of the world. And when we talk about the West, I think the West can not and will not isolate Russia because Russia is needed by everyone. And Russia is needed by the British government. I think the British government understands this very well because the British government has to fight terrorism and proliferation of nuclear weapons. The British government has to think about the security of Europe, about energy supplies and many other issues. And all of these issues has to be solved together with Russia, not against Russia, not by isolating Russia. I think despite this very bad incident in our relations Great Britain will continue to co-operate with Russia. And our relations will not be relations of adversaries but relations of partners.