From Russia with Love?
On 21 August the organisation Conservative Friends of Russia (CFoR) held a garden party at the residence of the Russian Ambassador in London. A large number of Conservative Future members were invited, and no doubt many were present. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t in attendance.
I have absolutely no problem with an organisation which promotes dialogue and understanding between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation: These are, of course, laudable aims. Declaring an interest, I had a Russian step-mother once upon a time. But given the current and past attitude of the Russian government to human rights it seems decidedly ill-advised to hold any sort of event in the grounds of the Embassy. This is in no way a criticism of the Ambassador, a career diplomat, but at the end of the day he is the representative and appointee of a government which isn’t exactly the most liberal.
By its own account CFoR is ”politically neutral regarding Russian political parties and candidates.” If so, then for God’s sake please hold your events in politically neutral venues. In my opinion it gives Conservative friends of Russia a far better moral foundation upon which to promote the aims of CFoR.
Note: I would have liked this article to have gone up on the day of the event, but the editor is evidently a busy man. However, it does seem I’m not the only person with concerns.