The argument goes: Vlad and his chekists are so afraid of the EU (reasons unspecified) that he will do anything to break it up and Brexit is a wonderful first step in that direction. Oddly, enough, I have heard an alternative version of this theory, which says that the one thing Vlad desperately wants is to keep Britain embroiled in the hopeless EU, which among other things is undermining NATO, the organization he is really afraid of that he will do anything to prevent Brexit. To that purpose the Kremlin has started a false flag operation or as it is known in certain circles, maskirovka, which pretends that he wants Brexit in order to get people to vote Remain. Well, there you are, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
Whichever of the two alternative theories one favours, it is hard to explain what it is about the EU that Putin might be afraid of. The closest to a suggestion I have seen is somebody explaining that the EU by its very existence presents a democratic alternative to the beleaguered people of Russia. Yes, dear readers, I did laugh. I also asked whether they seriously thought that outside the EU Britain would somehow be less democratic but even Remainiacs are finding that one a little hard to argue.
Meanwhile, there is news of the French showing us all how much they wish to keep Putin and his camarilla on the straight and narrow.
The French government is trying to pass a law that would help Russia to protect its assets from being frozen in business conflicts.Naturally, stories of the Russian government threatening France with various retaliatory actions are circulating. That is all Putin has to do, threaten people and they will jump to attention. Or he could bribe them and that applies to high up politicians as much as less important groups that the Remainiacs so love talking about.
A government amendment to a bill on transparency and the fight against corruption says that assets could be frozen only if the state that owned them "has expressly agreed to the implementation of such a measure".
The amendment also says that assets can be frozen only when they are "specifically used by the state for other purposes than non-commercial public service".
The bill comes after former shareholders of Yukos, the giant Russian oil firm broken up by Russia more than 10 yes ago, won $50 billion in damages from Russia in an arbitration tribunal in The Hague last year.
Judges said Russia had violated the Energy Charter Treaty, an investor protection pact, when they dismantled the oil company, which had been run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky.