Ed Davey: Vladimir Putin’s ambitions have been evident for some time, but the Conservatives’ position has long been incoherent and inconsistent. During the coalition years, the Conservatives seemed torn between the national security evidence of the country’s wrongdoings and the billions of roubles it had to invest. Russian industrial investment plans would never have stood up to the sort of detailed scrutiny we gave to Chinese ones. I was particularly astonished when David Cameron agreed to Putin’s request that the Russian state nuclear power company, Rosatom, be introduced to the UK’s civil nuclear power market and develop an international consortium with Rolls-Royce. It was left to the Lib Dems to insist of downgrading this to a simpler, meaningless memorandum of understanding. I was gobsmacked that even after Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the prime minister clung on to the idea — even as we searched around for sanctions to impose.
Times 18th March 2018 read more »