Russia–United Kingdom relations

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Russia–United Kingdom relations
Map indicating locations of United Kingdom and Russia

United Kingdom

Russia
Diplomatic mission
British Embassy MoscowEmbassy of Russia, London
Envoy
Ambassador Laurie BristowAmbassador Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hangzhou, China, 4 September 2016.

Russia–United Kingdom relations, also Anglo-Russian relations,[1] is the bilateral relationship between Russia and the United Kingdom. The formal ties between the courts of Moscow and London go back to 1553. Russia and Britain were allies against Napoleon in the early 19th century, enemies in the Crimean War of the 1850s, and rivals in the Great Game for control of central Asia in the latter half of 19th century. They were allies again in World Wars I and II, although relations were strained by the Russian Revolution of 1917. They were at sword's point during the Cold War (1947–1989). Russia's big businesses and tycoons developed strong ties with the UK's financial institutions in the 1990s, after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The countries share a history of intense espionage activities against each other, with the Soviet Union succeeding in penetration of top echelons of British intelligence and security establishment in the 1930s–1950s. Conversely, British Intelligence asset Oleg Penkovsky run by London and British agent Oleg Gordievsky allegedly contributed to averting the threat of thermonuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.[2] Since the 19th century, England has been a popular destination for Russian political exiles, refugees, and wealthy fugitives from the Russian-speaking world.

In the 2000s, especially following the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, relations became strained, and since 2014 have grown unfriendly due to the Ukrainian crisis and other activities by Russia such as the suspected poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, seen as hostile by the UK and many in the international community following the mass expulsion by 28 countries of suspected Russian spies acting as diplomats. [3]

Country comparison[edit]

 Russian Federation  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Coat of arms Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation 2.svg Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Flag Russia United Kingdom
Population 146267288 66663352
Area 17075400 km2 (6592800 sq mi) 243910 km2 (94170 sq mi)
Population Density 8/km2 (21/sq mi) 262/km2 (679/sq mi)
Time zones 11 1
Exclusive economic zone 8095881 km2 (3125837 sq mi) 6805586 km2 (2627651 sq mi)
Capital Moscow London
Largest City Moscow (pop. 11503501, 15500100 Metro) London (pop. 8174100, 14209000 Metro)
Government Federal semi-presidential
constitutional republic
Unitary parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
Official language Russian (de facto and de jure) English (de facto)
Main religions 41% Russian Orthodox, 13% non-religious, 6.5% Islam, 4.1% unaffiliated Christian, 1.5% other Orthodox, 3.4% other religions (2012 Census) 59.5% Christianity, 25.7% non-religious, 7.2% unstated, 4.4% Islam, 1.3% Hinduism, 0.7% Sikhism, 0.4% Judaism, 0.4% Buddhism (2011 Census)
Ethnic groups 80.90% Russians, 3.96% other Indo-Europeans, 8.75% Turkic peoples, 3.78% Caucasians, 1.76% Finno-Ugric peoples and others (2010 Census) 87% White (81.9% White British), 7% Asian, 3% Black, 2% Mixed Race, 1% Others (2011 Census)
GDP (PPP) by the WB $3.373 trillion $2.933 trillion
GDP (nominal) by the WB $1.485 trillion $3.029 trillion
Military expenditures $90.7 billion $72.7 billion
Nuclear warheads active/total 1,800 / 8,500 260 / 290

Historical background[edit]

Relations 1553–1792[edit]

Russian embassy in London, 1662
Old English Court in Moscow – headquarters of the Muscovy Company and residence of English ambassadors in the 17th century

The Kingdom of England and Tsardom of Russia established relations in 1553 when English navigator Richard Chancellor arrived in Arkhangelsk – at which time Mary I ruled England and Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia. He returned to England and was sent back to Russia in 1555, the same year the Muscovy Company was established. The Muscovy Company held a monopoly over trade between England and Russia until 1698. Tsar Alexei was outraged by the execution of King Charles I of England in 1649, and expelled all English traders and residents from Russia in retaliation.[4]

In 1697–1698 during the Grand Embassy of Peter I the Russian tsar visited England for three months. He improved relations and learned the best new technology especially regarding ships and navigation.[5]

Russia depicted as a bear and Britain as a lion eying off an Afghan in the Great Game.

The Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800) and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922) had increasingly important ties with the Russian Empire (1721–1917), after Tsar Peter I brought Russia into European affairs and declared himself an emperor. From the 1720s Peter invited British engineers to Saint Petersburg, leading to the establishment of a small but commercially influential Anglo-Russian expatriate merchant community from 1730 to 1921. During the series of general European wars of the 18th century, the two empires found themselves as sometime allies and sometime enemies. The two states fought on the same side during War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), but on opposite sides during Seven Years' War (1756–63), although did not at any time engage in the field.

Ochakov issue[edit]

Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger was alarmed at Russian expansion in Crimea in the 1780s at the expense of his Ottoman ally.[6] He tried to get Parliamentary support for reversing it. In peace talks with the Ottomans, Russia refused to return the key Ochakov fortress. Pitt wanted to threaten military retaliation. However Russia's ambassador Semyon Vorontsov organised Pitt's enemies and launched a public opinion campaign. Pitt won the vote so narrowly that he gave up and Vorontsov secured a renewal of the commercial treaty between Britain and Russia.[7][8]

Relations: 1792–1917[edit]

The outbreak of the French Revolution and its attendant wars temporarily united constitutionalist Britain and autocratic Russia in an ideological alliance against French republicanism. Britain and Russia attempted to halt the French but the failure of their joint invasion of the Netherlands in 1799 precipitated a change in attitudes.

Britain occupied Malta, while the Emperor Paul I of Russia was Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller. That led to the never-executed Indian March of Paul, which was a secret project of a planned allied Russo-French expedition against the British possessions in India.

The two countries fought each other (albeit only with some very limited naval combat) during the Anglo-Russian War (1807–12), after which Britain and Russia became allies against Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars. They both played major cooperative roles at the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815.

Eastern Question, Great Game, Russophobia[edit]

From 1820 to 1907, a new element emerged: Russophobia. British elite sentiment turned increasingly hostile to Russia, with a high degree of anxiety for the safety of India, with the fear that Russia would push south through Afghanistan. The result was a long-standing rivalry in central Asia.[9] In addition, there was a growing concern that Russia would destabilise Eastern Europe by its attacks on the faltering Ottoman Empire. This fear was known as the Eastern Question.[10] Russia was especially interested in getting a warm water port that would enable its navy. Getting access out of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean was a goal, which meant access through the Straits controlled by the Ottomans.[11]

Both intervened in the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829), eventually forcing the London peace treaty on the belligerents. The events heightened Russophobia. In 1851 the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations held in London's Crystal Palace, including over 100,000 exhibits from forty nations. It was the world's first international exposition. Russia took the opportunity to dispel growing Russophobia by refuting stereotypes of Russia as a backward, militaristic repressive tyranny. Its sumptuous exhibits of luxury products and large 'objets d'art' with little in the way of advanced technology, however, did little to change its reputation. Britain considered its navy too weak to worry about, but saw its large army as a major threat.[12]

The Russian pressures on the Ottoman Empire continued, leaving Britain and France to ally with the Ottomans and push back against Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856). Russophobia was an element in generating popular British support for the far-off war.[13] Elite opinion in Britain, especially among Liberals, supported Poles against Russia′s rule, after the uprising of 1830. The British government watched nervously as Saint Petersburg suppressed the subsequent Polish revolts in the early 1860s, yet refused to intervene.[14]

London was where the first Russian-language censorship-free periodicals — Polyarnaya Zvezda [ru], Golosa iz Rossii, and Kolokol (″The Bell″) — were published by Alexander Herzen and Nikolai Ogaryov in 1855–1865, which were of exceptional influence on Russian liberal intellectuals in the first several years of publication.[15] The periodicals were published by the Free Russian Press set up by Herzen in 1853, on the eve of the Crimean War, financed by the funds Herzen had managed to expatriate from Russia with the help of his bankers, the Paris branch of the Rothschild family.[16]

At midcentury British observers and travellers tended to present a negative view of Russia as a barbaric and backward nation. The English media depicted the Russians as superstitious, passive, and deserving of their autocratic tsar. Thus "barbarism" stood in contrast to "civilised" Britain.[17] In 1874, tension lessened as Queen Victoria's second son married the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II, followed by a cordial state visit by the tsar. The goodwill lasted no more than three years, when structural forces again pushed the two nations to the verge of war.[18]

Rivalry between Britain and Russia grew steadily over Central Asia in the Great Game of the late 19th century.[19] Russia desired warm-water ports on the Indian Ocean while Britain wanted to prevent Russian troops from gaining a potential invasion route to India.[20] In 1885 Russia annexed part of Afghanistan in the Panjdeh incident, which caused a war scare. However Russia's foreign minister Nikolay Girs and its ambassador to London Baron de Staal set up an agreement in 1887 which established a buffer zone in Central Asia. Russian diplomacy thereby won grudging British acceptance of its expansionism.[21] Persia was also an arena of tension, but without warfare.[22]

There was cooperation in Asia, however, as the two countries joined many others to protect their interests in China during the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901).[23]

Britain was an ally of Japan after 1902, but remained strictly neutral and did not participate in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5.[24][25][26]

However, there was a brief war scare in the Dogger Bank incident in October 1905 when the main Russian battle fleet, headed to fight Japan, mistakenly engaged a number of British fishing vessels in the North Sea fog. The Russians thought they were Japanese torpedo boats, and sank one, killing three fishermen. The British public was angry but Russia apologised and damages were levied through arbitration.[27]

Diplomacy became delicate in the early 20th century. Russia was troubled by the Entente Cordiale between Great Britain and France signed in 1904. Russia and France already had a mutual defense agreement that said France was obliged to threaten Britain with an attack if Britain declared war on Russia, while Russia was to concentrate more than 300,000 troops on the Afghan border for an incursion into India in the event that Britain attacked France. The solution was to bring Russia into the British-French alliance. The Anglo-Russian Entente and the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 made both countries part of the Triple Entente. The Convention was a formal treaty demarcating British and Russian spheres of influence in Central Asia. It enabled Britain to focus on the growing threat from Germany at sea and in central Europe.[28]

Allies, 1907–1917[edit]

Both countries were then part of the subsequent alliance against the Central Powers in World War I. In the summer of 1914, Austria attacked Serbia, Russia promised to help Serbia, Germany promised to help Austria, and war broke out between Russia and Germany. France supported Russia. Britain was neutral until Germany suddenly invaded neutral Belgium, then Britain joined France and Russia against Germany and Austria.[29] The alliance lasted while the February 1917 Revolution in Russia overthrew the tsar. However when the Bolsheviks took power in November, it made peace with Germany and broke all relations with Britain. The British supported the anti-Bolshevik forces during the Russian Civil War, but they lost, and Britain restored good relations in the 1920s.[30]

United Kingdom – Soviet Union relations[edit]

Soviet–UK relations
Map indicating locations of Soviet Union and UK

Soviet Union

United Kingdom

Interwar period[edit]

In 1918, with the Germans advancing toward Moscow, the Russians under Lenin made many concessions to the German Empire in return for peace. The Allies felt betrayed by the Treaty of Brest Litovsk signed on 3 March 1918.[31] Towards the end of World War I, Britain began to send troops to Russia to participate in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War which lasted up to 1925, aiming to topple the newly-formed socialist government the Bolsheviks had created.

Following the withdrawal of British troops from Russia, negotiations for trade began, and on 16 March 1921, the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement was concluded between the two countries.[32] Lenin's New Economic Policy downplayed socialism and emphasised business dealings with capitalist countries, in an effort to restart the sluggish Russian economy. Britain was the first country to accept Lenin's offer of a trade agreement. It ended the British blockade, and Russian ports were opened to British ships. Both sides agreed to refrain from hostile propaganda. It amounted to de facto diplomatic recognition and opened a period of extensive trade.[33]

Britain formally recognised the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR or Soviet Union, 1922–1991) on 1 February 1924. However, Anglo-Soviet relations were still marked by distrust and contention, culminating in a diplomatic break in 1927. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed at the end of May 1927 after a police raid on the All Russian Co-operative Society whereafter prime minister Stanley Baldwin presented the House of Commons with deciphered Soviet telegrams that proved Soviet espionage activities.[34][35] In 1929, the incoming Labour government successfully established permanent diplomatic relations.[36]

Second World War[edit]

1941 Soviet–UK agreement against Germany
British and Soviet servicemen over body of swastikaed dragon

In 1938, Britain and France negotiated the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany. Stalin opposed to the pact and refused to recognise the German annexation of the Czechoslovak Sudetenland.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 1939[edit]

The USSR and Germany signed the Non-aggression Pact in late August 1939, which promised the Soviets control of about half of Eastern Europe, and removed the risk to Germany of a two front war. Germany invaded Poland on 1 September, and the Soviets followed sixteen days later. Many members of the Communist Party in Britain and sympathisers were outraged and quit. Those who remained strove to undermine the British war effort and campaigned for what the Party called a 'people's peace', i.e. a negotiated settlement with Hitler.[37][38] Britain, along with France, declared war on Germany, but not the USSR. The British people were sympathetic to Finland in her Winter War against the USSR. The USSR furthermore supplied oil to the Germans which Hitler's Luftwaffe needed in its Blitz against Britain in 1940.

Field Marshal Montgomery decorates Soviet General Georgy Zhukov at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945
German invasion 1941[edit]

In June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, attacking the USSR. The USSR thereafter became one of the Allies of World War II along with Britain, fighting against the Axis Powers. The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran secured the oil fields in Iran from falling into Axis hands. The Arctic convoys transported supplies between Britain and the USSR during the war. Britain was quick to provide limited material aid to the Soviet Union - including tanks and aircraft - via these convoys in order to try to keep her new ally in the war against Germany and her allies.[39]

Britain signed a treaty with the USSR and sent military supplies. One major conduit for supplies was through Iran. The two nations agreed on a joint occupation of Iran, to neutralize German influence. After the war, there were disputes about the Soviet delayed departure from Iran, and speculation that it planned to set up a puppet state along its border. That problem was resolved completely in 1946.[40]

In August 1942, Churchill, accompanied by American W. Averell Harriman, went to Moscow and met Stalin for the first time. The British were nervous that Stalin and Hitler might make separate peace terms; Stalin insisted that would not happen. Churchill explained how Arctic convoys bringing munitions to Russia had been intercepted by the Germans; there was a delay now so that future convoys would be better protected. He apologetically explained there would be no second front this year—no British-American invasion of France—which Stalin had been urgently requesting for months. The will was there, said Churchill, but there was not enough American troops, not enough tanks, not enough shipping, not enough air superiority. Instead the British, and soon the Americans, would step up bombing of German cities and railways. Furthermore, there would be "Operation Torch" in November. It would be a major Anglo-American invasion of North Africa, which would set the stage for an invasion of Italy and perhaps open the Mediterranean for munitions shipments to Russia through the Black Sea. The talks started out on a very sour note but after many hours of informal conversations, the two men understood each other and knew they could cooperate smoothly.[41][42]

Polish boundaries[edit]

Stalin was adamant about British support for new boundaries for Poland, and Britain went along. They agreed that after victory Poland's boundaries would be moved westward, so that the USSR took over lands in the east while Poland gained lands in the west that had been under German control.

Lighter blue line: Curzon Line "B" as proposed in 1919. Darker blue line: "Curzon" Line "A" as proposed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Pink areas: Former pre WWII provinces of Germany transferred to Poland after the war. Grey area: Pre WWII Polish territory east to the Curzon Line annexed by the Soviet Union after the war.

They agreed on the "Curzon Line" as the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union) and the Oder-Neisse line would become the new boundary between Germany and Poland. The proposed changes angered the Polish government in exile in London, which did not want to lose control over its minorities. Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders. As he told Parliament on 15 December 1944, "Expulsion is the method which... will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble.... A clean sweep will be made."[43]

Postwar plans[edit]

The U.S. and Britain each approached Moscow in its own way; there was little coordination. Churchill wanted specific, pragmatic deals, typified by the percentage arrangement. Roosevelt's highest priority was to have the Soviets eagerly and energetically participate in the new United Nations, and he also wanted them to enter the war against Japan.[44]

In October 1944, Churchill and foreign minister Anthony Eden met Stalin and his foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov in Moscow. They discussed who would control what in the rest of postwar Eastern Europe. The Americans were not present, were not given shares, and were not fully informed. After lengthy bargaining the two sides settled on a long-term plan for the division of the region, The plan was to give 90% of the influence in Greece to Britain and 90% in Romania to Russia. Russia gained an 80%/20% division in Bulgaria and Hungary. There was a 50/50 division in Yugoslavia, and no Russian share in Italy.[45][46]

Cold War and beyond[edit]

Following the end of the Second World War, relations between the Soviet and the Western Bloc deteriorated quickly. Former British Prime Minister Churchill claimed that the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe after World War II amounted to 'an iron curtain has descended across the continent.' Relations were generally tense during the ensuing Cold War, typified by spying and other covert activities. The British and American Venona Project was established in 1942 for cryptanalysis of messages sent by Soviet intelligence. Soviet spies were later discovered in Britain, such as Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five spy ring, which was operating in England until 1963.

The Soviet spy agency, the KGB, was suspected of the murder of Georgi Markov in London in 1978. A High ranking KGB official, Oleg Gordievsky, defected to London in 1985.

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher pursued a strong anti-communist policy in concert with Ronald Reagan during the 1980s, in contrast with the détente policy of the 1970s.

Relations improved considerably after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985 and launched perestroika. They remained relatively warm after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 — with Russia taking over the international obligations and status from the demised superpower.

In October 1994, Queen Elizabeth II made a state visit to Russia, the first time ever a British monarch set foot on Russian soil.

21st century[edit]

2000s[edit]

President Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II on a state visit, 2003

Relations between the countries began to grow tense again shortly after Vladimir Putin was elected as President of the Russian Federation in 2000, with the Kremlin pursuing a more assertive foreign policy and imposing more controls domestically. The major irritant in the early-2000s was the UK′s refusal to extradite Russian citizens, self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky and Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, whom the UK granted political asylum.[47]

In late 2006, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London by radioactive metalloid, Polonium-210 and died three weeks later. The UK requested the extradition of Andrei Lugovoy from Russia to face charges over Litvinenko's death. Russia refused, stating their constitution does not allow extradition of their citizens to foreign countries. As a result of this, the United Kingdom expelled four Russian diplomats, shortly followed by Russia expelling four British diplomats.[48] The Litvinenko affair remains a major irritant in British-Russian relations.[49]

In July 2007, The Crown Prosecution Service announced that Boris Berezovsky would not face charges in the UK for talking to The Guardian about plotting a "revolution" in his homeland. Kremlin officials called it a "disturbing moment" in Anglo-Russian relations. Berezovsky remained a wanted man in Russia until his death in March 2013; having been accused of embezzlement and money laundering.[50]

Russia re-commenced long range air patrols of the Tupolev Tu-95 bomber aircraft in August 2007. These patrols neared British airspace, requiring RAF fighter jets to "scramble" and intercept them.[51][52]

In January 2008, Russia ordered two offices of the British Council situated in Russia to shut down, accusing them of tax violations. Eventually, work was suspended at the offices, with the council citing "intimidation" by the Russian authorities as the reason.[53][54] However, later in the year a Moscow court threw out most of the tax claims made against the British Council, ruling them invalid.[55]

During the 2008 South Ossetia war between Russia and Georgia, then-UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, visited the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi to meet with the Georgian President and said the UK's government and people "stood in solidarity" with the Georgian people.[56]

Earlier in 2009, then Solicitor-General, Vera Baird, personally decided that the property of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, which had been the subject of a legal dispute following the decision of the administering Bishop and half its clergy and lay adherents to move to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, would have to remain with the Moscow Patriarchate. She was forced to reassure concerned Members of Parliament that her decision had been made only on legal grounds, and that diplomatic and foreign policy questions had played no part. Baird's determination of the case was however endorsed by the Attorney-General Baroness Patricia Scotland. It attracted much criticism. However, questions continue to be raised that Baird's decision was designed not to offend the Putin government in Russia.

In November 2009, David Miliband visited Russia and described the state of relations between the two countries as "respectful disagreement".[57]

2010s[edit]

UK prime minister Theresa May and Russian president Vladimir Putin at a meeting during the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, on 4 September 2016

In 2014, relations soured drastically following the Ukrainian crisis, with the British government, along with the US and the EU, imposing punitive sanctions on Russia. In March 2014, The UK suspended all military cooperation with Russia and halted all extant licences for direct military export to Russia.[58] In September 2014, there were more rounds of sanctions imposed by the EU, targeted at Russian banking and oil industries, and at high officials. Russia responded by cutting off food imports from the UK and other countries imposing sanctions.[59] David Cameron, the UK prime minister (2010–2016), and U.S. president Obama jointly wrote for The Times in early September: ″Russia has ripped up the rulebook with its illegal, self-declared annexation of Crimea and its troops on Ukrainian soil threatening and undermining a sovereign nation state″.[60][61]

In early 2017, during her meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump, the UK prime minister Theresa May appeared to take a line harsher than that of the U.S. on the Russian sanctions.[62]

In April 2017, Moscow’s ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said UK-Russia relations were at an all-time low.[63]

In mid-November 2017, in her Guildhall speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, prime minister May called Russia ″chief among those today, of course″ who sought to undermine the ″open economies and free societies″ Britain was committed to, according to her.[64][65] She went on to elaborate: ″[Russia] is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions. So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed.″[64] In response, Russian parliamentarians said Theresa May was "making a fool of herself" with a "counterproductive" speech; Russia′s embassy reacted to the speech by posting a photograph of her from the Banquet drinking a glass of wine, with the tweet: "Dear Theresa, we hope, one day you will try Crimean #Massandra red wine".[66] Theresa May′s Banquet speech was compared by some Russian commentators to Winston Churchill′s speech in Fulton in March 1946;[67][68] it was hailed by Andrew Rosenthal in a front-page article run by The New York Times that contrasted May′s message against some statements about Putin made by Donald Trump, who, according to Rosenthal, ″far from denouncing Putin’s continuous assaults on human rights and free speech in Russia, [...] praised [Putin] as being a better leader than Obama.″[69]

In December 2017 Boris Johnson became the first UK foreign secretary to visit Russia in 5 years.[70]

In March 2018, as a result of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, relations between the countries deteriorated still further, both countries expelling 23 diplomats each and taking other punitive measures against one another. Within days of the incident, the UK government's assessment that it was ″highly likely″ that the Russian state was responsible for the incident received the backing of the EU, the US, and Britain′s other allies.[71][72][73][74] In what the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the "extraordinary international response" on the part of the UK's allies, on 26 and 27 March 2018 there followed a concerted action by the U.S., most of the EU member states, Albania, Australia, Canada, Macedonia, Moldova, and Norway, as well as NATO to expel a total of over 140 Russian accredited diplomats (including those expelled by the UK).[75][76]

England's squad against Sweden at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, on 7 July 2018

Additionally, in July 2018, the COBR committee were assembled following a poisoning of two other British citizens in the town of Amesbury, not far from Salisbury, the location of the Skripals' poisoning. It was later confirmed by Porton Down that the substance was a Novichok agent. Sajid Javid, the United Kingdom's home secretary insisted in the house of commons that he was letting the investigation teams conduct a full investigation into what had happened before jumping to a major conclusing. He then re-iterated the United Kingdom's initial question to Russia regarding the Novichok agent, accusing them of using the United Kingdom as a 'dumping ground'[77]

In his speech at the RUSI Land Warfare Conference in June 2018, the Chief of the General Staff Mark Carleton-Smith said that British troops should be prepared to "fight and win" against the "imminent" threat of hostile Russia.[78][79][80] Carleton-Smith said: "The misplaced perception that there is no imminent or existential threat to the UK - and that even if there was it could only arise at long notice - is wrong, along with a flawed belief that conventional hardware and mass are irrelevant in countering Russian subversion...".[80][81] In a November 2018 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Carleton-Smith said that "Russia today indisputably represents a far greater threat to our national security than Islamic extremist threats such as al-Qaeda and ISIL. ... We cannot be complacent about the threat Russia poses or leave it uncontested."[82]

Espionage and influence operations[edit]

In June 2010, UK intelligence officials were saying that Russian spying activity in the UK was back at the Cold War level and that MI5 had been for a few years building up its counter-espionage capabilities against Russians; it was also noted that Russia′s focus was ″largely directed on ex-patriots.″[83] In mid-August 2010, Sir Stephen Lander, Director-General of MI5 (1996–2002), said this of the level of Russian intelligence′s activity in the UK: ″If you go back to the early 90s, there was a hiatus. Then the spying machine got going again and the SVR [formerly the KGB], they've gone back to their old practices with a vengeance. I think by the end of the last century they were back to where they had been in the Cold War, in terms of numbers.″ [84]

In January 2012, Jonathan Powell, prime minister Tony Blair's chief of staff in 2006, admitted Britain was behind a plot to spy on Russia with a device hidden in a fake rock that was discovered in 2006 in a case that was publicised by Russian authorities; he said: ″Clearly they had known about it for some time and had been saving it up for a political purpose.″[85][86] Back in 2006, the Russian security service, the FSB, linked the rock case to British intelligence agents making covert payments to NGOs in Russia; shortly afterwards, president Vladimir Putin introduced a law that tightened regulation of funding non-governmental organisations in Russia.[87][88]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anglo-Russian Relations House of Commons Hansard.
  2. ^ Remington, Stella (11 May 2010). "Ten Greatest Espionage Coups". Quercus. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Russia says it could have been in interests of Britain to poison Sergei Skripal". 2 April 2018.
  4. ^ Sebag Montefiore, Simon (2016). The Romanovs. United Kingdom: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 48–49.
  5. ^ Jacob Abbott (1869). History of Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia. Harper. pp. 141–51.
  6. ^ John Holland Rose, William Pitt and national revival (1911) pp 589-607.
  7. ^ Jeremy Black (1994). British Foreign Policy in an Age of Revolutions, 1783-1793. Cambridge UP. p. 290. ISBN 9780521466844.
  8. ^ John Ehrman, The Younger Pitt: The Reluctant Transition (1996) [vol 2] pp xx.
  9. ^ Gerald Morgan, Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia, 1810-1895 (1981).
  10. ^ John Howes Gleason, The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion (1950) online
  11. ^ C.W. Crawley, "Anglo-Russian Relations 1815-40." Cambridge Historical Journal 3.1 (1929): 47-73. in JSTOR
  12. ^ Anthony Swift, "Russia and the Great Exhibition of 1851: Representations, perceptions, and a missed opportunity." Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas (2007): 242-263, in English.
  13. ^ Andrew D. Lambert, The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy Against Russia, 1853-56 (2011).
  14. ^ L. R. Lewitter, "The Polish Cause as seen in Great Britain, 1830–1863." Oxford Slavonic Papers (1995): 35-61.
  15. ^ David R. Marples. ″Lenin′s Revolution: Russia 1917–1921.″ Pearson Education, 2000, p.3.
  16. ^ Helen Williams. ″Ringing the Bell: Editor–Reader Dialogue in Alexander Herzen′s Kolokol″. Book History 4 (2001), p. 116.
  17. ^ Iwona Sakowicz, "Russia and the Russians opinions of the British press during the reign of Alexander II (dailies and weeklies)." Journal of European studies 35.3 (2005): 271-282.
  18. ^ Sir Sidney Lee (1903). Queen Victoria. p. 421.
  19. ^ Rodric Braithwaite, "The Russians in Afghanistan." Asian Affairs 42.2 (2011): 213-229.
  20. ^ David Fromkin, "The Great Game in Asia," Foreign Affairs(1980) 58#4 pp. 936-951 in JSTOR
  21. ^ Raymond Mohl, "Confrontation in Central Asia" History Today 19 (1969) 176-183
  22. ^ Firuz Kazemzadeh, Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864-1914: A Study in Imperialism (Yale UP, 1968).
  23. ^ Alena N. Eskridge-Kosmach, "Russia in the Boxer Rebellion." Journal of Slavic Military Studies 21.1 (2008): 38-52.
  24. ^ B. J. C. McKercher, "Diplomatic Equipoise: The Lansdowne Foreign Office the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, and the Global Balance of Power." Canadian Journal of History 24#3 (1989): 299-340. online
  25. ^ Keith Neilson, Britain and the last tsar: British policy and Russia, 1894-1917 (Oxford UP, 1995) p 243.
  26. ^ Keith Neilson, "'A dangerous game of American Poker': The Russo‐Japanese war and British policy." Journal of Strategic Studies 12#1 (1989): 63-87. online
  27. ^ Richard Ned Lebow, "Accidents and Crises: The Dogger Bank Affair." Naval War College Review 31 (1978): 66-75.
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  31. ^ Robert Service (2000). Lenin: A Biography. p. 342. ISBN 9780330476331.
  32. ^ Text in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 4, pp. 128–136.
  33. ^ Christine A. White, British and American Commercial Relations with Soviet Russia, 1918-1924 (U of North Carolina Press, 1992).
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  37. ^ Robert Manne, "Some British Light on the Nazi-Soviet Pact." European History Quarterly 11.1 (1981): 83-102.
  38. ^ Francis Beckett, Enemy Within: The Rise And Fall Of The British Communist Party (John Murray, 1995)
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Further reading[edit]

Multilateral diplomacy[edit]

  • Albrecht-Carrié, René. A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna (1958), 736pp, basic introduction 1815–1955
  • Feis, Herbert. Churchill Roosevelt Stalin The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought A Diplomatic History of World War II (1957)
  • Figes, Orlando. The Crimean War: A History (2011) excerpt and text search
  • McNeill, William Hardy. America, Britain, & Russia: Their Co-Operation and Conflict, 1941–1946 (1953)
  • Macmillan, Margaret. The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (2013) cover 1890s to 1914; see esp. ch 2, 5, 6, 7
  • Mckay, Derek and H.M. Scott. The Rise of the Great Powers 1648–1815 (1983)
  • Rich, Norman. Great Power Diplomacy: 1814–1914 (1991), comprehensive survey
  • Sainsbury, Keith. Turning Point: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill & Chiang-Kai-Shek, 1943: The Moscow, Cairo & Teheran Conferences (1985) 373pp
  • Schroeder, Paul W. The transformation of European politics, 1763–1848 (1994) highly detailed analysis
  • Taylor, A.J.P. Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918 (1954) highly detailed analysis

Bilateral relations[edit]

  • Anderson, M. S. Britain's Discovery of Russia 1553–1815 (1958). online
  • Bartlett, C. J. British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century (1989)
  • Bell, P. M. H. John Bull and the Bear: British Public Opinion, Foreign Policy and the Soviet Union 1941–45 (1990).
  • Bridges, Brian. "Red or Expert? The Anglo–Soviet Exchange of Ambassadors in 1929." Diplomacy & Statecraft 27.3 (2016): 437-452.
  • Carlton, David. Churchill and the Soviet Union (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000).
  • Chamberlain, Muriel E. Pax Britannica?: British Foreign Policy 1789–1914 (1989)
  • Clarke, Bob. Four Minute Warning: Britain's Cold War (2005)
  • Cross, A. G. ed. The Russian Theme in English Literature from the Sixteenth Century to 1980: An Introductory Survey and a Bibliography (1985).
  • Deighton Anne. "The 'Frozen Front': The Labour Government, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War, 1945–1947," International Affairs 65, 1987: 449–465. in JSTOR
  • Deighton, Anne. The Impossible Peace: Britain, the Division of Germany and the Origins of the Cold War (1990)
  • Fuller, William C. Strategy and Power in Russia 1600–1914 (1998)
  • Gleason, John Howes. The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion (1950) online
  • Gorodetsky, Gabriel, ed. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1991: A Retrospective (2014)
  • Haslam, Jonathan. Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (Yale UP, 2011)
  • Horn, David Bayne. Great Britain and Europe in the eighteenth century (1967), covers 1603 to 1702; pp 201–36.
  • Ingram, Edward. "Great Britain and Russia," pp 269–305 in William R. Thompson, ed. Great power rivalries (1999) online
  • Jelavich, Barbara. St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet foreign policy, 1814–1974 (1974)
  • Jones, J. R. Britain and the World, 1649–1815 (1980)
  • Keeble, Curtis. Britain and the Soviet Union, 1917–1989 (London: Macmillan, 1990).
  • Kennan, George. Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin (1961).
  • Kulski, Wladyslaw W. (1959). Peaceful Coexistence: An Analysis of Soviet Foreign Policy. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.
  • Lerner, Warren. "The Historical Origins of the Soviet Doctrine of Peaceful Coexistence." Law & Contemporary Problems 29 (1964): 865+ online.
  • Lipson, Leon. "Peaceful coexistence." Law and Contemporary Problems 29.4 (1964): 871-881. online
  • Marantz, Paul. "Prelude to détente: doctrinal change under Khrushchev." International Studies Quarterly 19.4 (1975): 501-528.
  • Marriott, J.A.R. Anglo-Russian Relations: 1689-1943 (1944).
  • Meyendorff, A. F. (November 1946). "Anglo-Russian trade in the 16th century". The Slavonic and East European Review. 25 (64).
  • Miner, Steven Merritt. Between Churchill and Stalin: The Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the Origins of the Grand Alliance (1988) online
  • Morgan, Gerald, and Geoffrey Wheeler. Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia, 1810–1895 (1981)
  • Neilson, Keith. Britain and the Last Tsar: British Policy and Russia, 1894–1917 (1995) online
  • Neilson, Keith Britain, Soviet Russia and the Collapse of the Versailles Order, 1919–1939 (2006)
  • Reynolds, David, et al. Allies at War: The Soviet, American, and British Experience, 1939–1945 (1994).
  • Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia. (7th ed. Oxford University Press, 2004) 800 pages.
  • Service, Robert. A History of Twentieth-Century Russia. (2nd ed. Harvard UP, 1999)
  • Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography (2004)
  • Seton-Watson, Hugh. The Russian Empire 1801–1917 (1967) excerpt and text search
  • Shaw, Louise Grace. The British Political Elite and the Soviet Union, 1937–1939 (2003) online
  • Ullman, - Richard H. Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917–1921 (3 vol 1972), highly detailed.
  • Williams, Beryl J. "The Strategic Background to the Anglo-Russian Entente of August 1907." Historical Journal 9#3 (1966): 360-373.
  • Zubok, Vladislav and Pleshakov, Constantine. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (1996).
  • Густерин П. В. Советско-британские отношения между мировыми войнами. — Саарбрюккен: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. 2014. ISBN 978-3-659-55735-4 .

Primary sources[edit]

  • Maisky, Ivan. The Maisky Diaries: The Wartime Revelations of Stalin's Ambassador in London edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky, (Yale UP, 2016); highly revealing commentary 1932-43; excerpts; abridged from 3 volume Yale edition; online review
  • Watt, D.C. (ed.) British Documents on Foreign Affairs, Part II, Series A: The Soviet Union, 1917–1939 vol. XV (University Publications of America, 1986).
  • Wiener, Joel H. ed. Great Britain: Foreign Policy and the Span of Empire, 1689–1971: A Documentary History (4 vol 1972) vol 1 online; vol 2 online; vol 3; vol 4 4 vol. 3400 pages

External links[edit]