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'Recall Moscow envoy for backing chess king'

world Updated: Dec 06, 2007 23:19 IST
Fred Weir
Fred Weir
Hindustan Times
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The pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi has appealed to Queen Elizabeth II to withdraw the British ambassador from Moscow for allegedly supporting opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

"This would be the same as if we went to America and started giving money to the Ku Klux Klan," Alexander Gagiyev, a Nashi leader, told the English-language Moscow Times.

The group, which wants Putin to remain Russia's leader despite a Constitutional requirement for him to step down next year, has been picketing the British embassy to protest ambassador Sir Anthony Brenton's recent attendance at a meeting of The Other Russia, an anti-Kremlin coalition led by chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov, who says he will run in presidential polls slated for March 2, spent five days in a Russian jail last week for leading an "unauthorized rally" against Putin's alleged plans to remain Russia's leader.

Nashi accuses Brenton of pledging to donate $2-million to The Other Russia, a claim the British side denies.

In addition to writing to the Queen, Nashi says it is suing Brenton in a Moscow court on the grounds that he violated the Vienna Convention, which forbids diplomats from interfering in the internal politics of host countries.

Nashi, which means "Ours" in Russian, is the Putinista youth movement established by the Kremlin two years ago to ward off the threat of a Ukrainian-style orange revolution in Russia.