DEBORAH AMOS, host:
From the studios of NPR West, this is DAY TO DAY. I'm Deborah Amos.
NOAH ADAMS, host:
And I'm NOAH ADAMS.
Coming up, $200 million in cash stuffed in suitcases and in the walls of a Mexico City house. Is it drug money or something else?
AMOS: But first, the Russian government told four British diplomats to pack their bags and be out of the country in 10 days. On Monday the British government expelled four Russian diplomats. The row that began over the death of an ex-Russian spy has the echoes of the Cold War and the details of a spy novel.
To begin with a spy, Moscow has refused to hand over a suspect in the poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-KGB agent who was killed in London by a lethal dose of radioactive polonium; that's why the British government started the fight. But this isn't the Cold War anymore. British business has major investments in Russia. Russia supplies Europe with energy.
Joining us now from London is Stephen Dalziel, executive director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. Welcome to the program.
Mr. STEPHEN DALZIEL (Russo-British Chamber of Commerce): Thank you.
AMOS: This is a pretty serious diplomatic row. What does it say about the way that the British view Russia today?
Mr. DALZIEL: It's a very serious diplomatic row. You're absolutely right. One of the problems that when we in the West - be we in Britain or Europe or America - we look at Russia and too often, people, while they say all the Cold War is over, they actually haven't actually got rid of their own old Cold War ideas.
And I think it's very, very important to take a step back, try and look at the situation from Russian eye's as well. I'm thinking, for example, of the row with the American plan to put missiles in and parts of a missile tracking station in the Czech Republic and Poland. Now, that may look good common sense to American defense planners, but to the Russian it looks like - it looks aggressive, it looks threatening.
And when Russia comes out and says, no, we don't want you doing that, this is not Russia being aggressive from the Russians' point of view. This is Russia being assertive, confident; it's saying we're not now that messy state that could be pushed around in the 1990s. Russia now is a strong country. Economically, it's an important player on the world stage. And therefore Russia cannot be ignored.
AMOS: But at the same time, this row is over something very real. A Russian man was murdered in London...
Mr. DALZIEL: Yeah, the Russians say, well, you know, you asked for extradition, we don't have a mutual extradition treaty. Our constitution says we don't extradite our own nationals to other countries. And so therefore that's why we're not going to do. We will try leaving this country if you present us with the facts.
Now, it's all very well for the British turn around and say, oh, well that's just cheating. Russia has actually applied for a number of people to be extradited from Britain in recent years. The two most obvious are Boris Berezovsky(ph) and Achmed Zerchia(ph), and Britain has refused. This is what I mean about looking at it from a Russian's point of view. The Russians didn't then turn around and start expelling diplomat.
AMOS: This does feel like the old days of the Cold War, but is there another kind of resolution that you see coming out of this?
Mr. DALZIEL: The crucial thing must be that behind the scenes talks are going on, because certainly from the point of view of our members, from the point of view of trade, Russia is a great potential market for British companies. And Russian companies, more and more of them want to be listed in London - in the London Stock Exchange, so where we have very healthy trade relations at the moment, and despite the current row, I think they're going to carry on that way.
AMOS: Thank you very much. Stephen Dalziel is executive director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. He spoke with us from London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Russian government has told four British diplomats to leave the country within 10 days. Earlier this week, the British government expelled four Russian diplomats. The tension is related to the London death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
The Russian government has told four British diplomats to leave the country within 10 days. Earlier this week, the British government expelled four Russian diplomats.
Moscow has refused to turn over a suspect in the London poisoning death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
Stephen Dalziel, executive director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, talks with Deborah Amos.