The Departure of UK Ambassador Anthony Brenton

Recently Robert Amsterdam blogged about the corporate foreign policy implications of TNK-BP’s latest snafu – that perhaps in exchange for relieve from the state’s bureaucratic attack, that the Kremlin would ask BP to perform some lobbying services on their behalf with the UK government. We have heard similar first-hand accounts that Gazprom has used its relationships with other national champions to advocate for softer Russia policy and muzzle human rights criticism. We will likely never hear the real reasons why the UK Ambassador to Russia Anthony Brenton is being withdrawn by the Foreign Office and replaced by Anne Pringle, but given that the whole British Council scandal seems to have quieted down, the timing really seems to point to pressure from BP to placate the Russians with a new face. Now we just have to see if Ambassador Pringle will put up with the same daily harassment from the Nashi as her predecessor was forced to tolerate.