Boris Berezovsky hit the headlines again today, claiming in an interview with a British newspaper that he was actively “plotting a new Russian revolution” – using force, if necessary.
Apparently, he also told the Guardian newspaper that he was:
bankrolling people close to the president who are conspiring to mount a palace coup.
Hmmm. Not so sure about that one – how many coup plotters do you know who say to their intended victim: “Look out behind you, old chap, there’s a man with dagger creeping up on you”.
Anyway, the Russian government is predictably up in arms. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hinted that an extradition request may be on its way:
“I think there are enough competent lawyers in Britain who know that sedition with regard to a foreign country constitutes sufficient grounds for launching legal action.”
The problem, though, is that everyone – including the headline writers at the Guardian* – seems to have forgotten that Berezovsky’s being calling for a (violent) overthrow of Putin for years now. And that the Russian government have already tried to extradite him – they were knocked back by a British district judge. I don’t see much chance that the decision is likely to be any different this time – particularly in the light of this year’s somewhat frostier Anglo-Russian relations.
As for me, I’m beginning to wonder if Berezovsky is little more than a bored, slightly deluded oligarch with a penchant for thrill seeking, rather than the heroic exiled rebel, about to ride to the aid of his oppressed countrymen that others would prefer to portray him as.
Update: Europhobia has more.
* Although, to be fair, they do note in the article itself that Berezovsky has been banging this particular drum for quite a while.