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A Discarded Memo on Russia

This one is pretty entertaining from Dominic Lawson at the Independent:

I found the following memo – as you do – under a half-finished cup of coffee on the train to Waterloo. Coffee stains made it difficult to read, but it seemed to have come from a person with the single initial, C. “Prime Minister, you asked us to come up with ‘the cheapest possible way to nobble Putin, which will not involve speeches or public acts of any sort by that bastard Miliband’. While we were slightly surprised by this reference to the Secretary of State, we share your view that another of his speeches on the naughtiness of the Russians, and how the EU is really, really serious about it this time, will not do. You will have observed from today’s newspapers how a systematic campaign of financial and legal harassment has caused BP to blink in its battle with the Russian oligarchs. We propose a similar policy. First of all, we should ask our friends in Switzerland to investigate the affairs of the Gunvor Group. You will recall from an earlier memo that Mr Putin has a very special interest in this company, which now takes commission on about a third of Russia’s seaborne crude oil exports. We might not even need help from the Swiss for this, as our most recent investigations have revealed that Gunvor’s ultimate holding company is domiciled in the British Virgin Islands.