Questionable Value System of Russian Siloviki; De-escalating UK-Russia Impasse; Unilateralism does not work!; Real Russian View

London, UK - 22 July 2007, 21:52 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

We are grateful to:

. Dr Martin Smith for "The Questionable Value System of the Russian Siloviki;"
. Lord Howell of Guildford for "De-escalating the UK-Russia Impasse;"
. Andrew Leung for "Unilateralism does not work! Global Interdependence supports Multilateralism;"
. John Pickering for "The Real Russian View;" and
. Prof Lord Skidelsky of Tilton from The Palace of Westminster for "Noting the Russian Constitution and Point of View;"

in response to The Lord Howell of Guildford's submission to ATCA, "Dealing with Russia and USA in the context of the Middle East, China and India: Is British diplomacy off the leash as a poodle turns into a bulldog?"

Dr Martin Smith has the rare distinction of having worked (at different times!) both for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and for Putin's arch political opponent, and former Yukos boss, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, now languishing in a Siberian jail. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of West Bridge Consulting, a political and corporate communications advisory firm based in London. He was a partner at the leading UK corporate and financial PR consultancy Brunswick from 1997-2003. Before joining Brunswick he was Chairman of Government Policy Consultants (GPC) in London and Brussels. In the 1980s he was Head of Public Affairs at the National Consumer Council in London and an adviser to the European Commission, the Council of Europe, Bureau Europeen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC) and Consumers International. Martin has carried out assignments for the Canadian, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Russian and Japanese governments. Martin Smith holds MA and PhD degrees in history awarded by Cambridge University, and is based in London. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: The Questionable Value System of the Russian Siloviki

I agree with Lord Skidelsky's characterization of the new British Foreign Secretary's response to the Litvinenko/Lugovoi affair as "cavalier", although I would prefer the word "simplistic". However I fear that Lord Skidelsky himself, a man whose deep knowledge of Russian political economy demands respect, is overly sanguine about the nature of the political crisis which currently engulfs UK relations with Moscow. It has been customary in Moscow for much of Putin's time as President of the Russian Federation to speak of Russia's "shared values" with the West. Although this is an entirely justifiable claim as regards whole swathes of the Russian intelligentsia, and indeed several distinguished Russian government ministers and officials, it does not reflect the value system of the Siloviki [Russian politician previously from the security intelligence and/or military establishment] who control many of the upper echelons of what are usually called the power ministries. As is clear from numerous public utterances, these men regard both the manner and the fact of the murder of Litvinenko in the heart of London's Mayfair as a matter of no great international consequence. What's the big deal? The man was a traitor!

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In the meantime the Litvinenko/Lugovoi affair will stand as a metaphor for all that is inhuman and corrupt in the higher reaches of Bonapartist officialdom in and around at least some of the corridors of power in Moscow.

Yours sincerely

Martin Smith

The Right Honourable Lord (David) Howell of Guildford, President of the British Institute of Energy Economics, is a former Secretary of State for Energy and for Transport in the UK Government and an economist and journalist. Lord Howell is Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords and Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs. The Lord Howell of Guildford also Chairs the Windsor Energy Group. Until 2002 he was Chairman of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, (the high level bilateral forum between leading UK and Japanese politicians, industrialists and academics), which was first set up by Margaret Thatcher and Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1984. In addition he writes a fortnightly column for The JAPAN TIMES in Tokyo, and has done so since 1985. He also writes regularly for the International Herald Tribune. David Howell was the Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1987-97. He was Chairman of the House of Lords European Sub-Committee on Common Foreign and Security Policy from 1999-2000. In 2001 he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japan). His latest book, 'Out of the Energy Labyrinth' has been described as 'a serious and thoughtful attempt to grapple with the complexities of the energy challenge and foreign policy', by James R Schlesinger, and as 'a terrific book, not least because of its topicality' by Sir Simon Jenkins. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: De-escalating the UK-Russia Impasse

I am glad that Lord Skidelsky and I are in agreement about the paramount importance of long-term good relations with Russia. But with the greatest respect I must disagree with him about the immediate situation and the question of the Constitution. We have been told of several instances where, despite the wording of the Constitution, individuals have been extradited from Russia in recent years. Were the Russian Government so minded I have no doubt that similar ways could be found in this case.

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I am not against the idea of a trial in Moscow, either with the full British evidence being openly given and heard, or even with a court meeting under British authority and procedures, as recently in The Hague. But one way or another I am sure the next steps can now be resolved without further public spats or posturing. It really ought to be possible between nations, who have everything to gain by being good friends and working together.

David Howell

Andrew Leung has over 40 years of experience in a variety of senior positions working closely with China, including Hong Kong, covering commerce, industry, finance, banking, transport, social welfare and diplomatic representation. He has addressed numerous local and international business and strategic fora, groups and organisations on China, including making regular television appearances. He has written many key commentaries on China for pre-eminent global networks such as ATCA. His audience includes finance and investment houses, institutional investors, large businesses, think tanks, senior officials and business executives as well as business schools. He was twice sponsored personally by the US Government on briefing visits to the United States, including a month-long visit to brief Chairmen and CEOs of multi-nationals on China, post-Tiananmen Square. He was sponsored by the Economist as a speaker at a China conference in Berlin with the German Foreign Affairs Institute. He was invited to brief personally the Duke of York and the Lord Mayor of London prior to their China visits. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: Unilateralism does not work! Global Interdependence supports Multilateralism

It goes without saying that appointing an open Bush critic as a minister and dropping hints at distancing Britain from US exceptionalism are part of a well-calculated move of Gordon Brown's new premiership to shed his predecessor's 'poodle' image. Such moves however reflect a realization that a one-sided alliance may no longer be fit for purpose in today's global interdependent geopolitics.

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Indeed, as Capitalism and Socialism are converging across the world, we need a paradigm shift in our thinking how to engage with other countries, and how to promote peace, stability and development in a world now virtually without borders.

Andrew Leung

Andrew Leung is on the Governing Council of King's College London; the Advisory Board of Nottingham University's China Policy Institute; and the Executive Committee of the 48 Group Club with historical and working links with the Chinese leadership. He leads the China Group of the Royal Society of Arts London Region and chairs the China Interest Group of the Institute of Directors' City Branch. He was Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Management at NIMBAS University, Utrecht, Holland (2006) and at China's Sun Yat-Sen and Lingnan Universities (2005-6) for their International MBA Programmes. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in June, 2002, and was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) in the 2005 Hong Kong's Honours List. He has qualifications from the University of London, Cambridge University, The Law Society and Harvard Business School. He speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and practises Chinese calligraphy as well as fine art.

John Pickering is the Vice-Chairman of the Labour Finance and Industry Group (LFIG) as well as being an industrialist. LFIG is a UK Labour loyal think tank that draws on the experience of senior managers, providing a practical filter for legislation. He has been in international business development throughout his career as a manufacturer and consulting engineer. He is currently the Chairman of a Russian pharmaceutical company and Chairman of the trustees of The Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths in Cambridge. He is a graduate of Cambridge University in physics and engineering, Cranfield Business School as well a being a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He has gained worldwide experience in general management in the power field and spent a number of years managing power construction projects in Nigeria, Sudan and Iran financed by the World Bank. Since then he has been in telecommunications joining BT plc at privatisation to become their first head of commercial management. In more recent times he has been a director investor in a number of global enterprises. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: The Real Russian View

In reply to Lord Skidelsky and Lord Howell and since I have had Russian visitors all this last week in my capacity as chairman of a new Russian enterprise in Europe - the following information I was given might be of interest to you.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]


John Pickering


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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