Friday, 12 September 2008

Don't F**K with the Russians

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, reacted with fury when Mr Miliband and he spoke on the telephone. Mr Lavrov objected to being lectured by the British.
Such was the repeated use of the "F-word" according to one insider who has seen the transcript, it was difficult to draft a readable note of the conversation.
One unconfirmed report suggested that
Mr Lavrov said: "Who are you to f------ lecture me?"
He also asked Mr Miliband in equally blunt terms whether he knew anything of Russia's history.
One Whitehall insider said: "It was effing this and effing that. It was not what you would call diplomatic language. It was rather shocking."
The Foreign Secretary had been putting forward Britain and Europe's objections to the actions of Russia, which began when their tanks rolled into the breakaway region of South Ossetia last month. Mr Miliband has said that Europe should reassess its ties with Russia after its "aggressive" behaviour.
Mr Lavrov, who was promoted under Vladimir Putin, has developed a reputation as the fearsome face of Russia's new aggressive foreign policy. When he held the position as Russia's man at the United Nations in New York he developed a reputation as fierce critic of other nations.
It is not the first time Mr Miliband and his Russian counterpart have clashed. Last year, Mr Lavrov retaliated to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from London by closing British Council offices in Russia.
The Russians were ordered out of the country in the wake of the Russia's refusal to co-operate in the investigation into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in a London hotel in 2006.
Pfft.... I'm used to folk swearing at me on the phone. (No, it's not dirty £5 sex lines that I'm talking about!). Generally it's because someone isn't getting what they want and they haven't been blessed with the gentle art of persuasion.

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