Boris Nemtsov vs. the BBC

bn080211.jpgBoris Nemtsov appeared on the BBC’s HardTalk last night, delivering a scathing rebuttal to presenter Stephen Sackur’s insistence that Nemtsov’s call for sanctions against Russian leaders was improbable. In his defense, Nemtsov brought up the ongoing Western sanctions and harsh rhetoric against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.  As Nemtsov indicates, Sackur’s position reflects the bizarre Western bias, which upholds the mythology of Russian democracy, whilst claiming to see through that of its smaller, and less powerful neighbours. 

SS: Do you think any Western government is going to take seriously your call for sanctions on Russia? 

BN: I’m talking about sanctions, not against the state, but against persons who destroy people’s rights in this country–
SS: You’re talking about the state’s President, the state’s Prime Minister.  So do you want sanctions from the West on Vladimir Putin, and do you think that’s a serious proposition? 
BN:  Absolutely.  You are talking mainly about double standards. Why [did] you implement sanctions against Lukashenko? What’s the difference between Putin and Lukashenko? One guy is a dictator, [the] other guy is a dictator. Why are you ready to implement sanctions against Lukashenko, and do not touch Putin? Can you explain to me? What’s the difference? Maybe you know?