The attitude of UK authorities toward Russia demonstrates "underlying prejudice rather than honesty," Dr. David William Norris said.
Commenting on the poisoning incident of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, Norris said that Moscow was accused of being responsible for the attack before there was any opportunity to gather evidence.
"The actions of the British government at almost every stage […] have contravened International Law. The language used by our political leaders has been at times rude, offensive, undiplomatic and totally lacking in good manners. This contrasted starkly with demeanor of the Russian ambassador, Mr. Yakovenko, who was always friendly and dignified at every press conference he gave," Norris said.
According to the expert, the recent call by UK authorities to boost sanctions against Russia was made "in the context of the current frenzied Russophobic paranoia gripping many British parliamentarians."
"It is like a kind of wave, a tsunami, sweeping all before it. Like everything else, sanctions are just a manifestation of this phenomenon," he argued.
In Norris' opinion, Western Russophobia is, among other things, related to economic factors.
"The West, I believe, fears above all else an economically prosperous Russia able to compete fairly with the rest of the world, even overtaking it and dominating in some crucial areas such as energy," he argued.
The analyst noted that sanctions have negative consequences not only for Russia, but for the UK as well.
"Sanctions are a two-edged-sword that cut both ways. Take them in your hands; wield them as you will, but you are in danger of cutting yourself to pieces in the process," he said.
According to Norris, there are politicians in the UK who are unhappy about London's negative stance towards Russia.
"The operation against wealthy Russians is less a desire to uncover corruption, but also motivated by hatred, fear, and many other emotions bound up in the irrationality of Russophobia. I and many others here in the UK like me, do not support these reprehensible steps against a country that ought to be a friend and not a foe," he concluded.
Earlier this week, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK parliament's lower house published a report dubbed "Moscow's Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK." In the document, UK lawmakers said that Kremlin-connected individuals had been storing and laundering money in London as part of a wider Russian strategy aimed at undermining the global rules-based system, harming UK allies and destroying mutually-reinforcing international networks which uphold UK foreign policy.
The paper called on the UK government to fight against this alleged practice for the sake of national security. The lawmakers also urged the government to sanction individuals linked to what they called "hostile regimes."
The Kremlin called the report a provocation initiated in order to trigger a Russophobic wave in the international community.
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