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Russian Defector Poisoned

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posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 02:38 PM
Now Mr. Litvinenko's widow has tested positive for exposure to radiation.


posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:29 PM
Is it me, or is there a rather conspicuous diplomatic silence about this whole affair? Nobody's kicking up a fuss at all about this.

"I don't like it... it's too quiet..."

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:10 AM

Originally posted by rich23

Infatuation is hardly the word. Your style of debate is known to me from previous encounters.

i said "twisted infatuation"...not infatuation. If you are going to refute a statement you have to get it right in order to try to refute it...

Originally posted by rich23
You tried to deny that the US made assassination attempts against Castro. I thought I'd correct you on this. As you had already unsuccessfully tried to patronise a previous poster, I thought I'd do my best to give you all the sources you need to correct your misapprehensions on this matter.

Wow, yeah, correction from someone who has obviously never been to Cuba and obviously doesn't have any experience with the Cuban regime, or castro's agenda and propaganda.

First of all, what I said is that if a Cuban citizen decides to attack castro, something which is pretty much impossible since castro never sleeps in the same place twice and has many of his thugs around him even when he is surrounded only by Cuban citizens..., castro would claim it was all a concerted effort by the United States....

There is a difference between "what you claim I wrote"...and what i actually wrote....

Anyways, btw even in that article which you gave it says the attempts on his life ended back in 1963.... Which again has nothing to do with the present administration, and which shows that you are just trying to beat a dead horse for whatever motive you might have to try to bring this "dead horse" to life....

Oh, and actually think that castro has never tried to assassinate presidents of the U.S.?....

Castro Ordered Kennedy's Assassination,
According to a German Documentary

German filmmaker Wilfried Huismann spent years digging into the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. His documentary "Rendezvous With Death -- Why Kennedy Had to Die," about Cuban leader Fidel Castro's role in the murder is set to premiere Friday, January 6, 2006 on German public TV.

In an interview with Germany's international braodcaster Deutch Welle, Huismann says he spent three years researching for his documentary in Mexico, the United States and Cuba.

He found strong ties between Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who murdered Kennedy, and Fidel Castro. Several witnesses are shown in the film, including Cuban former secret agents, U.S officials, and a Russian intelligence source. Huismann also did some research in Mexican security archives.

Anyways...yeah...back to the topic....

[edit on 2-12-2006 by Muaddib]

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 05:14 AM

Originally posted by Muaddib
i said "twisted infatuation"...not infatuation. If you are going to refute a statement you have to get it right in order to try to refute it...

You used the word, not me. I merely omitted the qualifier for brevity. If you use a word, live with it.

Wow, yeah, correction from someone who has obviously never been to Cuba and obviously doesn't have any experience with the Cuban regime, or castro's agenda and propaganda.

More incorrect assumptions. I've been to Cuba, and all over the Caribbean, and to many places in the US. A friend lived in Cuba for several years. The Cubans I've met are some of the coolest and best educated people I've known.

First of all, what I said is that if a Cuban citizen decides to attack castro,

Yeah, you know, I did notice that you said that when someone mentioned that the US had tried to assassinate Castro... and until you were confronted with solid evidence, you just blustered. Now we can all see why you gave yourself that little escape clause. Intellectually dishonest.

You certainly did your best to create the impression that the US never tried to assassinate him, and now that you can no longer do that you rely on a little-known and extraordinary theory about Oswald... and no-one sensible thinks that Oswald was anything other than what he claimed to be, a patsy. The people who claim that are bolstering the whitewash that was the Warren Commission. So now you've been called on the Castro thing, you seek to derail the thread further with nonsense on the JFK hit.

Anyways...yeah...back to the topic....

Having spent an entire post revealing your intellectual dishonesty, you then have the sheer gall to finish with that? If you're going to go "back to the topic", you need to contribute somthing to it rather than pompously try to have the last word while simultaneously adding nothing to the topic whatsoever.

So... in a bid to add to the topic rather than merely respond to foolishness, let's have a look at this article, in which the BBC tries to sum up Russian coverage of the event.

According to the Beeb, many Russian media sources say that Britain is "panicking"... or should be panicking... or something. I think they're confusing panic with shock at the blatant nature of the assassination coupled with indignation that it should happen here.

On NTV, owned by the state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, one presenter suggested that "thousands of people around the world might now start panicking".

Now that is helpful, telling us who owns NTV. If only the BBC were quite so helpful when quoting from American media. Rupert Murdoch's puppets are easy to spot, but what about General Electric, for example?

And then there's this frankly bizarre comment from one newspaper:

For one commentator in the Gazeta newspaper, Mr Litvinenko's death needs to be seen in a new light after former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar fell victim to a mystery illness.

"The series of attempts - Politkovskaya, Litvinenko, Gaidar - is effectively our 11 September," he said.

"The resonance is worldwide."

Ummmm.... no, it isn't.

For some, including MP Alexander Khinshtein, this is no accident.

"We are dealing with an ominous plan to discredit Russia and Putin in the eyes of the international community," Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted him as saying.

Gosh, it's just like the old days. There must be some old guard left at Pravda who are aglow with nostalgia, if not polonium. Mind you, one can't expect them to say, "yes, we did it! Bwahahahaha!" I suppose. And it does rather ignore the fact that radiation traces turned up on planes used on the London-Moscow run. Or maybe that's just part of the discrediting Russia thing.

And it's interesting that according to another BBC article, the Russian media were conspicuously silent about the case. Note how the story found its way into the Russian media.

Reports that the dissident former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko had been poisoned in London first surfaced in Russia's mainstream media on 11 November.

The independent radio station Ekho Moskvy was the first broadcaster to break the story, quoting a report published on a Chechen rebel website.

Since then coverage of the poisoning in the mainstream media has been confined to a small number of outlets.

TV silence

Most noticeably for a media landscape dominated by television, Russia's three main TV networks seem to have steered clear of the story.

So it took over a week for them to pick up on a story that was dominating British headlines and levelling pretty strong allegations at Putin. Interesting.

There's also this article about who was responsible. The suggestion is made rather strongly that rogue ex-KGB elements silenced him to stop him revealing Anna Politkovskaya's findings on the connections between ex-KGB people and contract killings. At the moment it's an argument I'm finding persuasive, but far from conclusive.

posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 03:02 PM

The suggestion is made rather strongly that rogue ex-KGB elements silenced him to stop him revealing Anna Politkovskaya's findings on the connections between ex-KGB people and contract killings.

The press seems to overlook what Anna was investigating...Guess what it was? - Litvinenko's stories about FSB contract killings in the book he wrote: Blowing up Russian: Terror from Within

Once you are aware of that, you may find a story behind a story.

Senator Guzzanti said:

"Litvinenko was a source for my investigations. He gave us lots of information. We had a lot of opposition and hostility from [Vladimir] Putin himself and we were also threatened.

"I have no doubts that Litvinenko was murdered by the Russian secret services."

Minister attacks Putin over 'murky murders'

MEP Gerard Batten, head of the British Independent Party, dropped the verbal equivalent of a polonium bomb in Brussels by declaring that the Italian Prime Minister was the Soviets' leading agent there, and calling for a parliamentary inquiry into his activites. Citing Litvinenko's story. ~ Three week later, Battan increased the pressure not only for a parliamentary investigation of Prodi's activities but also Litvinenko's assassination.

Litvinenko's claims could not have been more reckless - embroidering Prodi's spying for the Soviets for the benefit of neo-fascists ~ The only way it could possibly be undone was to silence him while demonstrating to those similarly inclined and informed what would happen to them if they did.

To get Litvnenko's claims back on a less-threatening level, threats on Anna Politkovskaya, who was investigating Moscow's conduct in Chechnya - what Litvinenko had written about in Blowing up Russian: Terror from Within - soon resumed. Once everyone was alerted to them, she was murdered in Moscow by a single masked gunman. Then Paolo Guzzanti was claiming that the SVR had assassinated her too - thanks apparently to information that Scaramella had picked up during his regular visits to his FSB successor.

Rome-Tel Aviv-Moscow-London Connection to Litvinenko's Murder

More about Paolo Guzzanti

From 2002 to 2006 he was president of the Mitrokhin Commission, a parliamentary comission entrusted with investigations about the role of KGB in Italy.

On December 1, 2006 several Italian newspaper published telephone interceptions of calls between Guzzanti and Mario Scaramella, a consultant of Mitrokhin Commission involved in the death of KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. In the interceptions, Guzzanti declared that the Commission's goal was to depict Romano Prodi as a man of KGB in Italy, financed by Moscow. Scaramella would also act in order to collect false witness from KGB refugees in Europe.

Recently the Italian parliament instituted a new commission to investigate about Mitrokihn Commission.

Do these articles hint that the Italian Prime Minister, may have been a little miffed by Litvnenko's claims that he was the KGB's #1 man in Italy?

Scaramella now seems to have been contaminated by radiation too. There are questions about how he tested negative first, and now later has tested positive. Heck, there are a lot of questions about Scaramella all the sudden.

[edit on 12/2/06 by makeitso]

posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 10:53 AM
Litvinenko received the 3-4 page document list of Russians earmarked for assassination Mario Scaramella.

Scaramella received this document from Evgenij Limarev, via email, (according to Paolo Guzzanti).

Scaramella is said to have direct contact with the Deputy Chief of the FSB, Viktor Komogorov.

Another former KGB agent contact of Scaramella was Yuri Shvets who is being interviewed by the FBI because of his statement "'I believe I have a lead that can explain what happened".

It appears that Shvets compiled a file of damaging information about the Kremlin and the Yukos oil company and somehow Litvinenko acquired it, and gave some of it to Leonid Nevzlin, Former Yukos shareholder.

It also seems that Litvinenko was talking about using the information to blackmail people.

It is notable that the Mitrokhin commission keeps popping into the investigation.

On the other end of the investigation, British authorities are traveling to Russia to interview Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitri Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko, who met Litvinenko at the Millennium Mayfair hotel, before and after the Sushi restaurant meeting with Scaramella.

Some news sources are picking up on the Mitrokhin commission connection now.

[edit on 12/3/06 by makeitso]

posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 04:28 PM

Ex-KGB agent says he named spy suspect

I happen to believe I know who is behind the death of my friend ~ and the reason for his murder," Shvets said.

Shvets, declined to confirm the name of the person he believed was behind Litvinenko's death because of concern it could disrupt the investigation. He also declined to offer details on a document he said he had given to the British officers.

"This is firsthand information, this is not gossip. I gave them the firsthand information that I have," Shvets told the AP.

In a separate statement ~ Shvets denied claims published Sunday in Britain's Observer newspaper that he had been involved in the drafting of a dossier on Russian oil company Yukos.

posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 05:55 PM
Makeitso - great posts. I'm just hanging in there at the moment. I was going to post more on this but I want to review your new stuff... Awesome.

posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 10:17 PM
Thanks Rich,

Anyway, it appears that the info on this case will slow down to a trickle now. In part because Tony Blair has requesed it, to help keep diplomatic relations with Russia on an even keel.

By the way it turns out that Yevgeni Limarev has denied being Scaremella's source for the hit list.

explains to us com'è that Mario Scaramella indicates it like the source that reveals the existence of a secret operation guaranteed from the Cremino in order to eliminate all the enemies of Putin: Anna Politovskaja, Aleksandr Litvinenko, same the Mario Scaramella and Paul Guzzanti?

No list does not exist. And I have not never supplied it. I have explained Mario as these things go. It is not that there is an official reunion to the Kremlin and is decided to assign to the intelligence the task to eliminate the enemies of the president. The matter is more vanished, like is obvious.

Mario, in its turn, to ask me to control existence and activity of organization called “Pride and Dignity” - it is one of those private agencies of emergency of which I spoke before - and of the men who turned to us around. I do not know from who had fished those information. I know that they are not I it source.

Google translation of La Repubblica Italy Nov. 27. 2006

[Edited to remove incorrect info about ECPP.]

[edit on 12/4/06 by makeitso]

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 12:20 AM
Here's a bit on the ECPP that Scaremella works for.

The ECPP Secretary-General
Prof. Mario Scaramella

The Presidents
The Minister of Forestry and Environment of the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
H.E. Mr. Nandimithra Ekanayake

The Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic
H.E. Mr. Jozef Liscak

[edit on 12/4/06 by makeitso]

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 04:17 AM

Originally posted by rich23

You used the word, not me. I merely omitted the qualifier for brevity. If you use a word, live with it.

If you are going to quote someone, quote them correctly, which as can be seen you like to distort the facts...humm wonder why?...

Originally posted by rich23
More incorrect assumptions. I've been to Cuba, and all over the Caribbean, and to many places in the US. A friend lived in Cuba for several years. The Cubans I've met are some of the coolest and best educated people I've known.

Riight, that sure makes you an expert of the situation there...

Originally posted by rich23
Yeah, you know, I did notice that you said that when someone mentioned that the US had tried to assassinate Castro... and until you were confronted with solid evidence, you just blustered. Now we can all see why you gave yourself that little escape clause. Intellectually dishonest.

I mentioned what is a fact....castro has been known to make such comments... Intellectual dishonesty is distorting what people are saying for your own agenda, whatever it might be...

Originally posted by rich23
So... in a bid to add to the topic rather than merely respond to foolishness

This coming from the same person that tried to derail the topic by posting distortions and then making up lies about what other people say....

Anyways, if you want to continue to insult me, apparently you are not as intelligent as you claim since in every other sentence you make all you do is insult, do it through U2U, and allow this thread to follow on the topic it is covering, not the topics you want to add which have nothing to do with it.... Thank you very much.

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 09:00 AM
The following are the events involving Litivensko's flight from Russia, which should shed some light as to what happens in Russia. I also include the allegations that he made against the Russian government and Putin. The whole article in that link is worth to read.

Alexander Litvinenko Dissidence Dissidence
On November 17, 1998, during the period that Vladimir Putin was the head of the FSB, five officers of FSB's Directorate for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations appeared at a press conference in the Russian news agency Interfax. Five officers (including the director of the Seventh Department, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Gusyk, three senior operative officers — Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Litvinenko, Major Andrey Ponkin, and Colonel V. V. Shebalin, Lieutenant Constanyin Latyshonok, and German Scheglov accused the director of the Directorate for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations major-general Eugeny Hoholkhov and his deputy, 1st Rank Captain Alexander Kamishnikov of ordering them in November 1997 to assassinate Boris Berezovsky, a Russian businessman who then held the high government post of Secretary of the Security Council and was close to President Boris Yeltsin; Berezovsky later fled to the UK to avoid criminal charges. They claimed they were also ordered to kill Mikhail Trepashkin and to kidnap a brother of the businessman Umar Dzhabrailov. Mikhail Trepashikin was present as a victim of the planned assassination. Several other FSB officers were also present to support the claims.[6][7] The leader of the Democratic Russia party and proponent of lustration, Galina Starovoitova was murdered just three days later.[8] Litvinenko was dismissed from the FSB, and then arrested twice on charges which were dropped after he had spent time in Moscow prisons. In 1999, he was arrested on charges of abusing duties during the anti-terrorist campaign in Kostroma. He was released a month later after signing a written undertaking not to leave the country.

Alexander Litvinenko Flight Flight
Litvinenko fled to Turkey from Ukraine with a fake passport, as his real passport was revoked by the authorities after criminal charges were filed against him. Litvinenko's wife Marina and five-year-old son Anatoly entered Turkey legally. With the help of Alexander Goldfarb, Litvinenko bought air tickets for the flight Istanbul-London-Moscow[9] and asked for political asylum at Heathrow airport during the transit stop on November 1, 2000.[10] Political asylum was granted on May 14, 2001[11] and in October 2006 he became a naturalised British citizen.[12]

Alexander Litvinenko Allegations against the Russian Government Allegations against the Russian Government
In the book Blowing up Russia: Terror from Within, published in 2002 with the financial support of Berezovsky, Litvinenko alleged that agents from the FSB co-ordinated the 1999 Russian apartment bombings that killed more than 300 people. Russian officials blamed the explosions on Chechen separatists. This version of events was suggested earlier by journalist David Satter [13] and Sergei Yushenkov, vice chairman of the Sergei Kovalev commission created by the Russian Parliament to investigate the bombings. However, Litvinenko provided many new factual details in his book. In December 2003 Russian authorities confiscated over 4000 copies of the book en route to Moscow from the publisher in Latvia.[14] In the book Gang from Lubyanka (Лубянская преступная группировка), Litvinenko alleged that Vladimir Putin during his time at FSB was personally involved in organized crime.

Litvinenko stated in a June 2003 interview, with the Australian SBS television program Dateline, that two of the Chechen terrorists involved in the 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis — whom he named as "Abdul the Bloody" and "Abu Bakar" — were working for the FSB, and that the agency manipulated the rebels into staging the attack.[15] Litvinenko said: "[w]hen they tried to find [Abdul the Bloody and Abu Bakar] among the dead terrorists, they weren't there. The FSB got its agents out. So the FSB agents among Chechens organised the whole thing on FSB orders, and those agents were released." The story about FSB connections with the hostage takers was confirmed by Mikhail Trepashkin.[6]

In a July 2005 interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Litvinenko alleged that Ayman al-Zawahiri, along with other al-Qaeda members, was trained by the FSB in Dagestan (a republic neighbouring Chechnya) in 1998.[16][17] With regard to 2005 bombings in London, Litvinenko said that KGB and FSB are main promoters of the terrorism worldwide.[18]

In July 2006 Litvinenko alleged in an article that Putin was a pedophile.[19] He compared Putin to rapist and serial killer Andrei Chikatilo. He wrote that among people who knew about Putin's pedophilia were Anatoly Trofimov and the editor of the Russian newspaper "Top Secret", Artyom Borovik, who died in a plane crash under suspicious circumstances just a week after trying to publish a paper about this subject.[20] Former FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin now states he warned Litvinenko in 2002 about an FSB unit assigned to assassinate him.[21]

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 09:08 AM
Muaddib, if you can't contribute to the thread, don't post. That's twice now.

Makeitso, I found this article which notes that Litvinenko's case might not be without precedent... and the victim was one of Putin's ex-bodyguards. Hmmm...

A FORMER bodyguard to President Vladimir Putin was murdered with a poison that produced symptoms remarkably similar to those of Alexander Litvinenko it emerged yesterday, writes Jonathan Calvert.

Roman Tsepov died aged 42 in 2004 after suffering severe radiation sickness brought on by a mystery substance he had ingested with food or drink.

The case suggests that use of radioactive poisons — similar to the polonium-210 that killed Litvinenko — may be more widespread than previously thought

I think what's happening now re the news is we're going to get background stories rather than anything directly to do with the investigation.... but this is quite useful:

Polonium tightly controlled in Russia -atomic chief

The head of Russia's state atomic energy agency Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, told the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that Russia produces only 8 grams of polonium 210 a month.

"All this amount goes to U.S. companies through a single authorised supplier, Tekhsnabexport company," the newspaper quoted Kiriyenko as saying.

Oh, really? That's odd, and rather interesting. One wonders why the US needs all of Russia's polonium, and why Russia has no use for any of the polonium it produces. Sounds like disinfo to me. Kiryenko's case is not helped by the fact that he seems to have got details of the polonium production process wrong - details in the article.

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 11:08 AM
Rich it looks to me like Mauddib is contributing you may not like his posts but this forum is for everyone so if you can't take issue with his arguement then don't respond to it.

I've come across some info one why Russia ships its polonium-210 to the US.

RUSSIA SHIPS ITS POLONIUM TO THE UNITED STATES: Russia produces polonium 210, the radioactive isotope thought to have killed Russian dissident, Alexander Litvinenko in London last week, but only in very small doses, said Sergei Kirienko, the head of the Russian government atomic agency. All polonium 210 in Russia is produced by the company, Tekhsnabexport, which exports its entire supply — 8 grams a month — to the United States. The substance is used primarily as a static remover in the printing and painting industries.

You can find the rest of the article here.

NY Times

Polonium-210 has a very short half-life of about 140 days so it doesn't pose a threat to health after that.

posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 05:22 PM

Polonium-210 has a very short half-life of about 140 days so it doesn't pose a threat to health after that.

What does it decay into though?


posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 05:50 PM

What does it decay into though?


Polonium-210, 210Po, transmutes into the lead isotope 206Pb by the emission of an α-particle.

The half life for this process is just over 138 days meaning that after 138 days one-half of the original 210Po has disappeared and after 2 times 138 days 3/4 has gone.

Chemistry: WebElements Periodic Table:

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:17 PM
If any one is interested I found this on the substance that killed the spy and thought it was easy to read while being informative.

Polonium is a lead-colored radioactive element found in uranium. The particular type, or isotope, that killed Alexander Litvinenko is polonium-210, which is mainly produced inside nuclear reactors.

About 100 grams is made yearly in Russia. In the USA, it's only imported by a New York-based company, which brings in less than a gram a year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. Minute amounts are used in the production of anti-static brushes, rolling paper, plastic sheets and fiber.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:22 PM
Perhaps you guys may be interested in reading this thread..

Shameless bit of advertising of one's own work, I know...But I would welcome input.

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 05:33 AM
Just in case anybody did not know there is a U.S. conection to this web of death details now.

As Scotland Yard officers fly to Washington to help the FBI quiz a former Soviet spy, The Observer reveals Alexander Litvinenko's amazing plot to extort cash from some of Russia's top figures

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 10:23 AM
Hi RedG,

There has been a bit more come out since that Dec. 3rd article. The person the FBI were talking with about the case has since had an interview with the BBC. He indicates that Litvinenko was hired by by a British company to research information on particular people in a particluar Russian company, so that the British company could decide to invest in the Russian company or not. The information Litvinenko provided caused them to not invest, and Mr. Shvets speculates that is what brought on the "assasination".

He says:

Yuri Shvets, an ex-spy based in the United States, said Mr Litvinenko, ~ had been employed by a British company to provide information on five potential Russian clients before they committed to investment. He had helped the former KGB man with information on one of the five.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Shvets said the report had led to the British company pulling out of a deal, losing the Russian figure potential earnings of "dozens of millions of dollars". Neither the Russian nor the British company was named, but asked whether the report had lead to Mr Litvinenko's death, he replied: "I can't be 100 per cent sure, but I am pretty sure."

According to Mr Shvets, Mr Litvinenko showed a copy of the dossier to Mr Lugovoy in late September or early October, adding: "I believe that triggered the entire assassination." He claimed Mr Lugovoy was still employed by the FSB, and had leaked the dossier to the Russian figure.

Litvinenko 'killed over dossier' on senior Putin ally

If the information from Mr. Shvets is accurate, one may speculate that the companies involved may be Gazprom, and Royal Dutch Shell.

Firstly because we have reports that Litvineko was researching Yukos, another Russian energy company.

Secondly because very recently Gazprom started making moves to take controling interest of the world's biggest liquefied natural gas project, Sakhalin-2, which Royal Dutch Shell 55% control of.

December 14, 2006 Russia's Great Gas Grab

The (Russian) Natural Resources Ministry has mounted a campaign of inspections by its environmental inspectorate and threats of administrative sanctions against Sakhalin-2, the only big energy project entirely in foreign hands.

Partly as a result, a deal is taking shape for Gazprom to buy into the scheme that includes the world's biggest liquefied natural gas project, which is due to start supplying Japan, South Korea and the United States in mid-2008.

The water resources agency has suspended 12 water-use licenses held by Sakhalin-2's main contractor -- Russian-Italian joint venture Starstroi -- and given it two on Wednesday, Interfax quoted the agency's head, Rustam Khamitov, as saying he doubted that the contractor could rectify the violations and that the licenses would be suspended.

This would prevent the group from finishing pipelines linking gas fields in the north of Sakhalin with the liquefaction plant in the south.

Analysts say pressure from the state, notably from environmental inspectorate official Oleg Mitvol, is part of a wider drive to increase Kremlin control over the strategic energy sector.

Shell and Russia have not agreed on terms of separation, as it were. They have to negotiate, a lop-sided exercise at best. In the end, Gazprom will probably in theory "buy" approximately half the stakes of foreigners, out of "royalty income." But in practice, it will be a form of expropriation, intended to give Russia operating control of something built and paid for by others.

Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi have no choice but to make the best of it. They will smile and talk about great progress being made, hoping that Russia will allow them to achieve some return on their investment, in order to keep their resources available in the future.

Related Gazprom - Shell - Sakhalin-2 news articles

I suppose one could go even further and speculate that perhaps, just perhaps, Litvinenko was helping the British company get some leverage back by blackmailing one or more of the individual in the Russian company. Maybe even Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

The timing of the takeover attempt seems to fit.

We are just speculating. Right?

[edit on 12/17/06 by makeitso]

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