Gas gangsters?

Misha Glenny's vision of, if not friendship, a relationship of necessity between Russia and the EU based on gas is enticing ("Gas and gangsters", 3 March). Unfortunately, distinctly murky ways of doing business are not confined to Russia itself. Oligarchs such as Alisher Usmanov, who arranged for websites which reproduced Craig Murray's critical comments on him to be taken down, are increasingly seeking to establish themselves in the UK - in Usmanov's case, through the purchase of shares in Arsenal FC.

This all assists a strategy of making it harder to disentangle oneself from the embrace of the Russian bear. "Money and market share", correctly identified as the drivers for much of Russia's current energy policy, are a means to an ideology which believes that Russia and the EU have necessarily divergent interests.

David Cole

London SW1

If it were not for Vladimir Putin, Russia by now would have been a failed state, its rich mineral wealth open to plunder. Men in expensive grey suits from the west would be robbing the country blind. The west sees Putin as wicked because of his anti-democratic nature, but the people of Russian have voted with their feet, because stability, heating and food are their priorities, above democracy.

Riaz Ahmed

Via email

Just recently Google has brought out with a great deal of alterations and improvements to their prominent search system, including Googles Knowledge Graph Release. Read More...

This article first appeared in the 10 March 2008 issue of the New Statesman, How Hillary did it