Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear his nation would not be bullied by the West and intended to be completely in charge of its own territory as well as its foreign affairs. He made it clear to the Britsh government that the British Council which promotes cultural and education ties is closed down for failing to obtain legal authorization to function. Lavrov was also critical of US plans for missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic which Russia views as a direct threat to its own defenses. London believes the action against the Council is a response to the dispute which arose between the two nations following the 2006 murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident. It is still unclear exactly what is the crime of the Council except in being British.
Lavov went on to denounce European and American decisions to support the aspirations of Kosovo for independence from Serbia. In addition to its close ties with Serbia, the Russian government is generally opposed to separatist movements, particularly since so many areas of the former Soviet Union left to become independent nationsl. One wonders if George Bush still believes after gazing into the eyes of President Putin he saw a man with whom he could negotiate.