It may not be unique but it is unusual to conduct foreign policy through the letter columns of the Daily Telegraph.
The letter from Yuri Fedotov, the Russian Ambassador in today's copy signifies the new and truimphant voice of Russia ,who have successfully confronted NATO, annexed Stalin's birthplace ,large chunks of the Black Sea coast, along with the major port of Poti and ensured control over the Baku - Tibilisi - Ceyhan pipeline (which has just been re-opened after the mysterious "fire" - see Friday August 8th 2008 PKK claim responsibility for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline blast - although initial reports said it was an accident ).
Your leading article (“This is what Nato is for”, August 21) rightly points out that the current capabilities of the US missile system can be called into doubt. But it is certainly not “absurd” to suggest that the deal struck between America and Poland, as an integral component of the US global ballistic missile defence system, poses a real danger to Russia and its nuclear deterrent.
Radek Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, is certainly in no doubt about the potential of the system, stating this week that he “was sure the system will be developed, improved and upgraded”. Ultimately, the deal between America and Poland establishes a US military presence only 100 miles from Russian territory.
Given the huge investment of the US government in the missile defence project – $57.8 billion under the Bush administration alone – it is perfectly reasonable to expect the system’s capabilities to increase and diversify.
The West should consider whether establishing new military facilities and restating Cold War geographies is how it wishes to conduct international relations in the 21st century.
This is a thinly veiled threat. "The West" however configured and it's citizens would do well to ponder the words of Mr Fedatov , which of course are really those of Mr Putin.
It would be worth remembering that in February 2007 the dismantling of TNK:BP started after the Russian cabinet had launched a bill limiting foreign investors to ownership of no more than 49% of certain "strategic" sectors, including energy.
Shortly after Mr Fedatov told reporters that BP and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom were in the process of striking a deal over TNK:BP, (Russia's 3rd largest oil company and 1/4 of BP's global oil rserves)but would not rule out BP's 50% stake in the project being reduced. "I know that they're in the process of finding a deal that would be suitable to BP and Gazprom," Fedatov said at the time. "They're discussing different options and figures, and I would not want to preempt that. It's a commercial matter between two companies, which I hope will be resolved in a satisfactory manner."
Rosprirodnadzor, Russia's environmental protection agency discovered that TNK:BP had broken the terms of its license in Kovykta and had three months to remedy the violations. The helpful Mr Fedatov hinted in the friendliest way possible that threats of prosecution hanging over BP from Rosprirodnadzor may not emerge. "There is some kind of prosecution but I don't think it was final and I don't think it's something which should be over-dramatized," he said Friday. "A solution will be found," he added.
New readers may not be aware that BP are in bed with Mikhail Maratovich Fridman who runs Alfa Group, from whom BP bought half of Tyumen Oil for US$6.15 billion (who is also a member of the Council on Foreign relations) , Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg chairman of TNK who operates under his Remova Group (and bought for the State , Faberge eggs from the Forbes collection in 2004) , his pal American passport holder Leonard "Len" Blavatnik of Access Industries and German Khan who helps run TNK. They are said to have planned their move for seizing control of the 50% they don't currently own in the plush lounges of the Four Seasons Hotel near Limassol where menus are in Russian and the whores are from everywhere, in June.
BP have a long, complicated and bitter feud with these 4 and on July 5th BP lodged a claim in the High Court in London suing their Russian partners in the High Court in London over a $360m (£180m) tax claim.
The claim, alleges that BP is owed the sum under the terms of an agreement that was struck at the creation of the TNK-BP joint venture in 2003.
Tied in with this Vekselberg demanded the sacking of Robert Dudley, the chief executive of the joint venture and has threatened legal action against the three BP-appointed directors who sit on the management board, Steve Ridlington VP Finance & Treasury, Steve Truman and Peter Henshaw head of communications , if he isn't sacked.
The end result is that Mr. Dudley, who is a U.S. citizen, temporarily left Russia last month, citing "harassment" by Russia's authorities, and has been unable to return after the authorities failed to issue him a new visa.
He has now been banned from holding executive office in Russia, and has now written to senior officials, accusing the country's labour authorities of abusing their power.
The endgame is that BP (which is, since the take over of Amoco, basically an American company, despite the name) will be forced to surrender - as did Shell over Sakhalin and the gas (enough to supply the world for a year) from Kovykta will be shipped eventually to China by Gazprom.
As Mr Fedatov said in February when Oleg Mitvol, deputy chairman of Rosprirodnadzor started raising problems for TNK:BP, " "A solution will be found,"
A man of his word, Mr Fedatov.