Foreign Secretary David Miliband is not taking any prisoners on his stance with Russia. Well, of course he would like to take one: Andrei Lugovoi, an ex-KGB officer and prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. The Russians are exercising their right to refuse the extradition of a citizen under the European Convention on Extradition 1957. Miliband has the backing of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems but I can't help feeling the spectre of the Cold War lurking in the shadows. Russian president Vladimir Putin does not come across as a man that responds well to external pressure or criticism.
Russia's Foreign Ministry chief spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said: "London's position is immoral. Moreover, in London they should clearly realise that such provocative actions masterminded by the British authorities will not be left without an answer and cannot but entail the most serious consequences for Russian-British relations". I for one do not want to fall out with a man like Putin, people still disappear in Russia and he has shown in recent weeks that he will not have Russia belittled. Bush and Brown are playing a dangerous game with our security. If you poke an angry dog with a stick, you expect to get bitten. We are not dealing with reasonable men, if we were, they would have already handed over Andrei Lugovoi.
Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said: "In the end, both the UK and the US always understood that this approach doesn't work. This matter shouldn't be politicised." For the sake of his family, Alexander Litvinenko's murderer should be brought to justice, but I think we should ask ourselves: at what cost?
Is it me, or is it starting to feel a bit chilly?