Russia targets UK interests with arrests of alleged spies

#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/20/wruss220.xml

The Kremlin appeared to have renewed its hostile campaign against British interests and big business in Russia today when the secret police arrested two men on espionage charges after raiding BP's Moscow headquarters.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7307114.stm

Ilya Zaslavsky is a manager at the TNK-BP oil joint venture, his brother Alexander head of the British Council's Moscow Alumni club.

The two, who have joint US and Russian citizenship, were gathering classified data for foreign firms, the FSB said.
...
The Moscow offices of the British oil giant were raided by the authorities on Wednesday.

Russia's security agency, the FSB, has confirmed that the raids were related to the Zaslavsky case.

"During the raid, material proof confirming the industrial espionage was found and confiscated," it said in a statement.

This included business cards of foreign military agencies and the CIA, it said.
 
#2
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
 
#4
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.

Meanwhile, our American friends pretend that they are absolutely unaware about American citizenship of the brothers.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac19c2-f698-11dc-bda1-000077b07658.html

The US said it was seeking to confirm the reports that US dual nationals had been arrested. “If any American citizens were arrested, we will request access to speak and visit them, as is customary when American citizens are detained abroad,” said Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman.
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.
Well, it is a 'company'.
 
#6
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.

Meanwhile, our American friends pretend that they are absolutely unaware about American citizenship of the brothers.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac19c2-f698-11dc-bda1-000077b07658.html

The US said it was seeking to confirm the reports that US dual nationals had been arrested. “If any American citizens were arrested, we will request access to speak and visit them, as is customary when American citizens are detained abroad,” said Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman.

Hm, so in Russia all you need to have happen in order to be charged with espionage is to hold duel citizenship and be in possession of a cia business card? Which I'm sure wasn't in any way planted.

So the move couldn't possibly be:

1. Russia illegally stealing foreign held assets within it's borders.

2. TNK-BP has been at the centre of constant speculation that it is next on Gazprom’s takeover list.

3. The company was forced to sell its flagship gas venture, the Kovykta gas field in east Siberia, last year to Gazprom after alleged licence violations.

4. According to the company: ”The company has never countenanced or supported any action designed to contradict or damage the interests of Russia,” the statement said."

5. The company’s 50 per cent foreign ownership is seen by analysts as an anomaly in Russia after a series of controversial campaigns, including one that forced Royal Dutch Shell to sell control of its Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture to Gazprom, the state-controlled energy group, after alleged environmental infractions.

Russia is gobbling up foreign held interests and making up stuff to do it. One time, ok, but there is a definite pattern here.

Personally I think it's a very bad move. If the US learned anything from it's great depression was that protectionism was what kicked it off. It'll be a very good way to have all kinds of countries stop investing in Russia.

Russia is basically "stealing" foreign held assets within it's borders.
 
#7
the real motive for this is to cook up an excuse for Gazprom to rip off the Kovykta gas field from TNK-BP.

Today the Russian environmental authorities said they are going to investigate TNK-BP's operation of its biggest oil field. They say its a routine probe. Just like two years ago when they got stuck into Shell just before it sold its controlling stake in Sakhalin-1 to Gazprom. And the tax claims against Yukos.

Gazprom has long said it wants Kovykta. The FSB initially said their raid on TNK-BPs HQ on Wednesday was related to the bankruptcy of Sidanko, which once owned this field and was then taken over by TNK. But now they have retracted this statement!

We've all seen this kind of behaviour before by the Russian government/Gazprom. Why invent silly spy scandals any more? Maybe Joe Public in Moscow buys this sh*t, but they aren't fooling anyone else.

What really worries me is that these guys don't even seem to care what people think about them anymore. Odd, seeing as they seem to get so upset everytime the international community treats Russia like the guy who has farted in the lift.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
ghost_us said:
Personally I think it's a very bad move. If the US learned anything from it's great depression was that protectionism was what kicked it off. It'll be a very good way to have all kinds of countries stop investing in Russia.
It's been a long time coming. I've felt for a while that the sooner we disengage from Russia the better. They obviously don't like or trust us and frankly are about as appealing chewing cardboard. Besides, you get far better return for your investment in places like China and India.
 
#10
ghost_us said:
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.

Meanwhile, our American friends pretend that they are absolutely unaware about American citizenship of the brothers.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac19c2-f698-11dc-bda1-000077b07658.html

The US said it was seeking to confirm the reports that US dual nationals had been arrested. “If any American citizens were arrested, we will request access to speak and visit them, as is customary when American citizens are detained abroad,” said Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman.

Hm, so in Russia all you need to have happen in order to be charged with espionage is to hold duel citizenship and be in possession of a cia business card? Which I'm sure wasn't in any way planted.
It looks as the brothers indeed violated the law. Even BBC support this supposition

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7307716.stm

As one oil industry analyst put it to me: "In Russia all geological information regarding oil and minerals is still classified as a state secret. Sending any such information out of Russia, even for the purposes of a financial audit, could be considered illegal."

In other words it would not be difficult for the Russian security services to come up with evidence of wrongdoing if they really wanted to.
DURA LEX SED LEX (A law is severe but it is a law).

Foreign businessmen, specialists and the alleged spies know about restrictions of Russian law pretty well.

ghost_us said:
So the move couldn't possibly be:

1. Russia illegally stealing foreign held assets within it's borders.

2. TNK-BP has been at the centre of constant speculation that it is next on Gazprom’s takeover list.

3. The company was forced to sell its flagship gas venture, the Kovykta gas field in east Siberia, last year to Gazprom after alleged licence violations.

4. According to the company: ”The company has never countenanced or supported any action designed to contradict or damage the interests of Russia,” the statement said."

5. The company’s 50 per cent foreign ownership is seen by analysts as an anomaly in Russia after a series of controversial campaigns, including one that forced Royal Dutch Shell to sell control of its Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture to Gazprom, the state-controlled energy group, after alleged environmental infractions.

Russia is gobbling up foreign held interests and making up stuff to do it. One time, ok, but there is a definite pattern here.

Personally I think it's a very bad move. If the US learned anything from it's great depression was that protectionism was what kicked it off. It'll be a very good way to have all kinds of countries stop investing in Russia.

Russia is basically "stealing" foreign held assets within it's borders.
Stealing? I would like to tell you a story about real theft.

In December 1999 Russian tycoons (Alpha group) 'privatised' 50% (state owned) shares of TNK for $130mlns. It was a laughable sum.

Thieves from Alpha group (Fridman, Aven, Vekselberg) are not fools and as true thieves tried to resold stolen property. And they sold 50% of TNK to BP for $6 Billions in 2003.

One of the largest Russian oil company TNK-BP was registered in... no not in Moscow but in British Virgin islands.

Now TNK-BP extracts annually oil that cost no less than $55 Billions. And it is a real theft.

From my point of view it would be fair to nationalise TNK-BP, return BP $6 blns with good %%, 'return' Alpha group $130mlns (again with %%).

And it would not be theft but justice.

As for foregn investments then just yesterday PepsiCo invested $1.4 billions in huge plant that produces juices.
 
#11
In December 1999 Russian tycoons (Alpha group) 'privatised' 50% (state owned) shares of TNK for $130mlns. It was a laughable sum.

Thieves from Alpha group (Fridman, Aven, Vekselberg) are not fools and as true thieves tried to resold stolen property. And they sold 50% of TNK to BP for $6 Billions in 2003.


Yes Sergey, but this begs the question, why has Russia waited NINE YEARS to do something about this? And what about all the other scams that were done by other people? I can't help feeling that its only foreigners who are seen as fair game.
I'd be glad to see all foreign firms pull out of any energy investment in Russia. Let's see how far they get doing Stokman without foreign help.
 
#12
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.

Meanwhile, our American friends pretend that they are absolutely unaware about American citizenship of the brothers.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac19c2-f698-11dc-bda1-000077b07658.html

The US said it was seeking to confirm the reports that US dual nationals had been arrested. “If any American citizens were arrested, we will request access to speak and visit them, as is customary when American citizens are detained abroad,” said Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman.

Hm, so in Russia all you need to have happen in order to be charged with espionage is to hold duel citizenship and be in possession of a cia business card? Which I'm sure wasn't in any way planted.
It looks as the brothers indeed violated the law. Even BBC support this supposition

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7307716.stm

As one oil industry analyst put it to me: "In Russia all geological information regarding oil and minerals is still classified as a state secret. Sending any such information out of Russia, even for the purposes of a financial audit, could be considered illegal."

In other words it would not be difficult for the Russian security services to come up with evidence of wrongdoing if they really wanted to.
DURA LEX SED LEX (A law is severe but it is a law).

Foreign businessmen, specialists and the alleged spies know about restrictions of Russian law pretty well.

ghost_us said:
So the move couldn't possibly be:

1. Russia illegally stealing foreign held assets within it's borders.

2. TNK-BP has been at the centre of constant speculation that it is next on Gazprom’s takeover list.

3. The company was forced to sell its flagship gas venture, the Kovykta gas field in east Siberia, last year to Gazprom after alleged licence violations.

4. According to the company: ”The company has never countenanced or supported any action designed to contradict or damage the interests of Russia,” the statement said."

5. The company’s 50 per cent foreign ownership is seen by analysts as an anomaly in Russia after a series of controversial campaigns, including one that forced Royal Dutch Shell to sell control of its Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture to Gazprom, the state-controlled energy group, after alleged environmental infractions.

Russia is gobbling up foreign held interests and making up stuff to do it. One time, ok, but there is a definite pattern here.

Personally I think it's a very bad move. If the US learned anything from it's great depression was that protectionism was what kicked it off. It'll be a very good way to have all kinds of countries stop investing in Russia.

Russia is basically "stealing" foreign held assets within it's borders.
Stealing? I would like to tell you a story about real theft.

In December 1999 Russian tycoons (Alpha group) 'privatised' 50% (state owned) shares of TNK for $130mlns. It was a laughable sum.

Thieves from Alpha group (Fridman, Aven, Vekselberg) are not fools and as true thieves tried to resold stolen property. And they sold 50% of TNK to BP for $6 Billions in 2003.

One of the largest Russian oil company TNK-BP was registered in... no not in Moscow but in British Virgin islands.

Now TNK-BP extracts annually oil that cost no less than $55 Billions. And it is a real theft.

From my point of view it would be fair to nationalise TNK-BP, return BP $6 blns with good %%, 'return' Alpha group $130mlns (again with %%).

And it would not be theft but justice.

As for foregn investments then just yesterday PepsiCo invested $1.4 billions in huge plant that produces juices.
What a load of Bollox,the BBC were reporting the news not supporting the accusation.

The Soviet Union is alive and well and living in Russia. Normal isolationist crap coming out of the East once again,the sooner someone cuts the rope and lets the whole nation float away from Europe the better!

Why am I not surprised when a Russian citizen sees nothing wrong with ripping of a western company that has put all their money and resources into developing an oilfield,by "nationlising" it for the good of the Russian nation,anywhere else Sergey that would be called Theft but then again being Russian,and having no ethics or scruples,that wouldn't bother you lot eh? :slow:
 
#13
Sergey said:
In December 1999 Russian tycoons (Alpha group) 'privatised' 50% (state owned) shares of TNK for $130mlns. It was a laughable sum.

Thieves from Alpha group (Fridman, Aven, Vekselberg) are not fools and as true thieves tried to resold stolen property. And they sold 50% of TNK to BP for $6 Billions in 2003.
codbutt said:
Yes Sergey, but this begs the question, why has Russia waited NINE YEARS to do something about this?
Mr.Putin himself was an active participant in this theft. In December 1999 he was a PM and signed the privatisation deel. There are rumors that Alpha group actively supported mr.Putin then he was elected for the first time as a president in 2000. Namely mr.Putin approved creation of joint venture TNK-BP in 2003 and allowed to sell 50% of TNK to BP.

In 1999 Russian tycoons regarded mr.Putin as their obedient puppet but step by step the puppet was turned into a master. And now rather the tycoons serve him. One tycoon (mr.Khodorkovsky) disageed with new situation and ended in the jail. All tycoons are thives. so it is not a hard tast to find violation of laws.

codbutt said:
And what about all the other scams that were done by other people?
Mr.Abramovitch for example. A nice cell in the jail is awaiting him long ago.

codbutt said:
I can't help feeling that its only foreigners who are seen as fair game. I'd be glad to see all foreign firms pull out of any energy investment in Russia. Let's see how far they get doing Shtokman without foreign help.
As a result, Western firms would be voided lovely profits, EU vould be voided Russian gas. Russian industry would be stimulated to develop own technologies. It is not absolutely impossible, rather it is a question of time and require big money. And now Russia has money.
 
#14
KGB_resident said:
ghost_us said:
YAY! Cold War part 2

Good. I've come to the conclusion that the US was better off when Russia was it's single focus.
There is one delicate detail: both arrested brothers are US citizens. How did they get American citizenship?

1. They didn't live in the USA 5 yeasr.
2. They didn't serve in US armed forces.
3. There is another possibility. They are agents of CIA. Likely it is the true reason.

And indeed CIA business cards were discovered.

Meanwhile, our American friends pretend that they are absolutely unaware about American citizenship of the brothers.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fac19c2-f698-11dc-bda1-000077b07658.html

The US said it was seeking to confirm the reports that US dual nationals had been arrested. “If any American citizens were arrested, we will request access to speak and visit them, as is customary when American citizens are detained abroad,” said Sean McCormack, State Department spokesman.
Ah Sergey,

So the CIA is so hard up that it sends people to work undercover who are dumb enough to keep CIA cards in their house? If these were planted then you have to be slightly suspicious of the other evidence against them. Once again quality Russian justice in action.
 
#15
RoofRat said:
Why am I not surprised when a Russian citizen sees nothing wrong with ripping of a western company that has put all their money and resources into developing an oilfield, by "nationlising" it for the good of the Russian nation,anywhere else Sergey that would be called Theft but then again being Russian,and having no ethics or scruples,that wouldn't bother you lot eh? :slow:
BP came to rich oilfields that had been developed before. BP paid $6bln. to thieves in fact buying stolen property.

Many times I have been to the city of Nizhnevartovsk in West Siberia - a capital of TNK. Hundreds thousands of Russians in 80's and 90's were building 300,000 strong city, roads, pipelines, power grids, power stations and substations... -40 C at Winter is not something special here. What namely BP has done? It pumped profits from stolen property that it baught.

By the way, nationalisation is absolutely lawfull measure. Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries nationalised all their oilfields. And what? Maybe the West severed all ties with Gulf countries?

And in the case with Russia there would be a big fuss but I believe that BP would be proposed a fair compensation. Anyway Russian investments was highly profitable.

There is another scenario. BP and Alpha group could sell both 25% +1 their shares to state run oil company. as a result Russian government would establish control over TNK-BP. Personally I expect that it happened later or sooner... or there would be no alternative to the nationalisation.
 
#16
its a case of flexing its muscles (russia) it keeps turning the gas on and off with the ukraine.

My wife was in Moscow Last week trying to sort out and issue with the Russian tax authorties, and her summarised reply to me was its fukced, they will take there money and close down the office in Moscow!!

well the UK Government has weakend any influence we once had as a market player. So i now expect the rest of the world to try and fleece us at any opportunity. (she does not work for oil or gas) but her company supplies solutions etc to companies in that enviroment.
 
#17
The_Rattler said:
its a case of flexing its muscles (russia) it keeps turning the gas on and off with the ukraine.

My wife was in Moscow Last week trying to sort out and issue with the Russian tax authorties, and her summarised reply to me was its fukced, they will take there money and close down the office in Moscow!!

.
Ukraine owes billions to Russia. If you will not pay your gass bill what'll happen?

With regard to "fukced", try to deal with UK Home Office. :)
 
#18
KGB_resident said:
Sergey said:
In December 1999 Russian tycoons (Alpha group) 'privatised' 50% (state owned) shares of TNK for $130mlns. It was a laughable sum.

Thieves from Alpha group (Fridman, Aven, Vekselberg) are not fools and as true thieves tried to resold stolen property. And they sold 50% of TNK to BP for $6 Billions in 2003.
codbutt said:
Yes Sergey, but this begs the question, why has Russia waited NINE YEARS to do something about this?
Mr.Putin himself was an active participant in this theft. In December 1999 he was a PM and signed the privatisation deel. There are rumors that Alpha group actively supported mr.Putin then he was elected for the first time as a president in 2000. Namely mr.Putin approved creation of joint venture TNK-BP in 2003 and allowed to sell 50% of TNK to BP.

In 1999 Russian tycoons regarded mr.Putin as their obedient puppet but step by step the puppet was turned into a master. And now rather the tycoons serve him. One tycoon (mr.Khodorkovsky) disageed with new situation and ended in the jail. All tycoons are thives. so it is not a hard tast to find violation of laws.

codbutt said:
And what about all the other scams that were done by other people?
Mr.Abramovitch for example. A nice cell in the jail is awaiting him long ago.

codbutt said:
I can't help feeling that its only foreigners who are seen as fair game. I'd be glad to see all foreign firms pull out of any energy investment in Russia. Let's see how far they get doing Shtokman without foreign help.
As a result, Western firms would be voided lovely profits, EU vould be voided Russian gas. Russian industry would be stimulated to develop own technologies. It is not absolutely impossible, rather it is a question of time and require big money. And now Russia has money.
Russia always was and will be for a long time to come, inferior to the west and the Far East in Industry and commerce... your country is so riddled with crime and corruption it will take years to produce any world class goods, and the only people that will suffer is the Russian people.
 
#19
geo7863 said:
Russia always was and will be for a long time to come, inferior to the west and the Far East in Industry and commerce... your country is so riddled with crime and corruption it will take years to produce any world class goods, and the only people that will suffer is the Russian people.
Never say never Geo. Who knows how the UK and Russia would look 20 or 50 years later. Many experts predict that Russia has a bright economical future.
 
#20
...and it is not the end of the story.

http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=7886458

BP recalls 148 employees from Russia for alleged visa problems

An official with British energy giant BP PLC says the company is recalling 148 employees from Russia due to alleged visa problems.
The move Tuesday follows a raid last week on BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP and the announcement that a low-level employee had been charged with industrial espionage.
 

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