The head of the British government, Teresa May, made an unprecedentedly tough speech, consisting of complaints about Russian politics. If you believe it, Moscow is responsible for most of the problems that Western civilization is currently experiencing. But another thing is interesting: just one move, London disavowed its previous threats against Moscow.
The banquet of the Lord Mayor of London is an important social event of the British capital. Carefully verified list of participants, strict dress code: men in tuxedos, ladies in evening dresses.
In a black dress with transparent insets on her shoulders, Her Majesty Theresa Mary May Prime Minister made a traditional appeal to the guests of the banquet. And it came about, strangely enough, about Russia. More precisely, it would seem strange before, but now we are already used to it.
As the BBC Russian Service notes, May "subjected the Russian authorities to the strongest criticism during her entire stay at the head of the British government."
The prime minister, in particular, said that Russia is trying to "undermine free societies", launches false news with the goal of "sowing strife in the West," and is stirring up the conflict in Ukraine.
"Russia repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and conducted a purposeful campaign of cyber espionage and secession, which included, inter alia, interference in elections and a hacker attack on the Danish Ministry of Defense and the Bundestag," Mei raged.
As they say in the cult Soviet film "The Caucasian Captive": "Excuse me, did I also break the chapel?"
In the context of a detailed and profuse listing of the "transgressions" of our country, Mei apparently decided that she would not hurt a bit of the pathos of her speech-and she addressed directly to the Russian authorities:
"We know what you are trying to achieve, and you will not get anything done. Because you underestimate the stability of our democracies, the constant attraction of free and open societies and the commitment of Western countries to alliances that connect us! "
Despite the fact that Britain is leaving the European Union, the prime minister promised to take "the necessary measures to counteract Russian activity" and assured that a lasting economic partnership between Britain and the EU would become a bastion against Russia's attempts to break the order in Europe.
For this, having felt that she is a little too keen on the stick, May devoted the second part of her speech to enough peace-loving statements. "But this is not the relationship with Russia that we want," the British prime minister described the current situation. "We do not want to go back to the cold war or be in a state of constant confrontation."
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is able to play a vital role in promoting international stability, she recalled. And she added:
"There is another way. Many of us look at post-Soviet Russia with hope, we know that a strong and prosperous Russia that plays by the rules would be in the interests of Britain, Europe and the world. "
At the end of her speech, Her Majesty's Prime Minister announced that the former Mayor of London and the current Foreign Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, will make his first trip to Russia in December.
Here it is worth recalling that last September, Johnson put an ultimatum to Russia: while the Kremlin supports Damascus, his legs will not be in Moscow. The Kremlin, we recall, continues to support Damascus.
Now Johnson says that London's policy towards Moscow after a decade of tense relations should proceed from the principle of "beware, but to participate." Earlier, he also made a reservation: there is no evidence that Russia tried to intervene in the British elections or in voting on Brexit.
Speech Teresa May leaves an ambivalent impression. On the one hand, we can not but rejoice that, unlike the United States, Britain is still determined not to further aggravate relations through diplomatic and economic restrictions and sanctions, but to dialogue.
On the other hand, one can not but grieve the desire to "hang" on Russia the blame for all the problems of Western civilization, as well as for hacker attacks, to establish sources of which is reliably problematic, even at the state level.
And, of course, it is very interesting what kind of "rules" the head of the British government means. Britain as a part of NATO, and independently independently interferes in the internal affairs of other states (especially its former colonies), conducts military operations without UN authorization (particularly in Iraq), and foreign services of the BBC, including Russian, actively engaged in propaganda.
Not surprisingly, it was these words of May that aroused the sharpest reaction of Russian politicians. "The international system of rules should not be rescued from Russia, but from the adepts of interventions, state coups and regime changes. These are the "rules" Russia will not accept, "wrote Senator Alexei Pushkov on Twitter.
In turn, the head of the State Duma's international affairs committee Leonid Slutsky called the statement that Russia is trying to undermine the international system of rules, another manifestation of double standards.
"Our steps in the world arena are always highly verified and comply with all norms of international law. What I would not say about a number of our "strategic friends" who more than once, under the cover of resolutions of the UN Security Council, have committed actions completely contrary to the spirit of these same resolutions to please their geopolitical interests, "the Russian newspaper quotes.
At the same time, Slutsky agreed with the British Prime Minister that our countries should "develop mutual dialogue and partnership relations," stressing that this process should be mutual and proceed on equal and parity terms.
This is exactly what Russia has been waiting for unsuccessfully for a year from its Western partners and from Britain in particular. Talk on equal terms, without accusations, teachings and threats.
Rules can and will work only if they are observed by all players of international politics. And while the US and its allies adhere to the principle formulated by the caudillo Franco, "Friends are everything, enemies are the law," it is pointless to make anyone complain.
But of course you need to talk.