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Lavrov Used Foul Language With Miliband, Report Says

Published: September 16, 2008 (Issue # 1408)


LONDON Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov subjected his British counterpart to a torrent of four-letter words during a telephone call over the situation in Georgia, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

The paper said that Lavrov repeatedly used foul language as British Foreign Secretary David Miliband warned him that Europe would reassess its ties with Russia following the countrys invasion of Georgia last month.

According to the Telegraph, the conversation was so laden with obscenities it was difficult to draft a readable summary.

The paper cited an unidentified insider as the source of its information but did not say when the exchange took place.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry denied the report and on Saturday accused the British government of deliberately leaking its version of the exchange to the media.

Such leaks are probably aimed at attaining political ends and pouring oil on the flames of hysteria surrounding Russias actions in the Caucasus, ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said, Interfax reported. As we understand, the leak was authorized by David Miliband.

Britains Foreign Office denied that allegation but did not comment on the tenor of the conversation.

We dont go into the details of confidential discussions between foreign ministers, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said Friday.

The spokeswoman refused to comment further and demanded to speak anonymously in line with department policy.

Nesterenko promised that Russias transcript of Lavrovs conversation with Miliband would soon be posted to the Foreign Ministrys web site.

British-Russian relations are at a post-Cold War low after Russia refused to extradite a suspect in the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 and closed offices of the British Council earlier this year.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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