Saturday June 2, 2018
There was some good and bad news last week. The good news was that William Browder, a London-based investor and dedicated foe of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin was arrested by the Spanish police on Wednesday. The bad news is that even though Russia has on six occasions requested Browder’s arrest through Interpol for tax fraud, the Spanish national police determined that Browder had been detained in error because the international warrant was no longer valid and released him.
Interpol, an organization of 190 countries cannot legally enforce any action of a “political character.” This can make it difficult to obtain red notices such as those being sought by Russia on Browder, which are the equivalent of international arrest warrants.
One might reasonably ask why there is a crisis in US-Russia relations at all since Washington and Moscow have much more in common than not, to include confronting international terrorism, stabilizing Syria and other parts of the world that are in turmoil, and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In spite of all that, the U.S. and Russia are currently locked in a tit-for-tat unfriendly relationship somewhat reminiscent of the Cold War and it is only getting worse as self-appointed “experts” including Browder continue to prowl the fringes of policy making. Browder was in Spain to testify in a case against several Russian companies.