Russian opposition activists in London on Tuesday asked Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to hand over a number of “gifts” to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The Speak Up! movement activists approached Lavrov after he gave a talk at the London School of Economics.
They said they also asked Lavrov to pass their presents on to former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, suspected by UK investigators of the 2006 poisoning of Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko with the radioactive substance polonium-210.
“To Andrei Lugovoi we send real English tea, a bundle of grass [Lugovoi’s name means ‘meadow’] without polonium, to Putin we send the [Russian] constitution and a magnifying glass,” the movement said in a statement.
President Medvedev was treated to a note saying “Free Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.”
Already in detention since 2003, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were sentenced to another six years in prison in a politically tinged trial in December.
Lavrov said the presents will reach their addressees.
LONDON, February 15 (RIA Novosti)
LONDON | Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:11pm GMT
(Reuters) – A Russian dissident living in Britain interrupted a lecture by Russia’s visiting foreign minister on Tuesday, calling for the release of a jailed tycoon and drawing attention to Moscow’s patchy democracy record.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was speaking at the London School of Economics when dissident Andrei Sidelnikov shouted about the murder of a Kremlin critic in London five years ago.
Russia refuses to extradite Andrei Lugovoy, whom Britain wants to prosecute for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian state security officer who died in London in 2006 from poisoning by radioactive polonium-210.
London, January 27th, 2011 – “Speak Up!” a new international movement, has been launched.
“Speak Up!” was founded in response to the Russian authorities’ systematic attempts to erode the foundations of civil society in Russia. The movement strives to unite everyone who will not accept the violations of basic rights and freedoms of Russian people, endemic corruption and abuse of power by the authorities and utter contempt for the constitution.
“Speak Up!” is the first Russian movement to unite people across the West. We are building a platform for constructive discussions of Russia’s future.
Our activities will fall into three broad streams.
Unite. It is estimated that more than 350,000 Russian speakers live in the UK alone – people of various age, backgrounds and views. What they have in common is that they are not able to voice their concerns over developments in Russia. We are aiming to change that.
Enlighten. We are going to engage with the people and leaders of the Western countries. Russia might be a valuable trading partner but fundamental rights and freedoms must be held in higher regards than short-term financial interest. We will keep repeating that.
Discuss. Many of us remain passive simply because they think that no one person can change anything. This week we have launched the trial version of our website Gromche.org. Conceived as the home of meaningful discussions, it will transcend the geographic boundaries in bringing together the people who are interested in Russia and care about its future. In the coming months we will initiate debates on a wide range of topics, both online and across the globe.
When a state persistently violates the rights of its citizens, the citizens have to raise their voices. In the absence of free elections this is no mean feat. We feel responsible for Russia and we believe that we can change it for the better. Crucially, we also believe that our numbers are greater than they seem.
Speak Up and you will be heard!