MOCSOW, October 1. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has chosen to refrain from commenting on an interview Richard Dearlove, the former head of the MI6 had with The Times. In that discussion, the ex-MI6 boss regretted his agency’s assistance in organizing then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s attendance to a social event with Vladimir Putin in the run-up to the Russian presidential elections back in 2000, thus helping him come to power.
The Times’ Monday issue published an interview with Richard Dearlove, then chief of the Secret Intelligence Service in 1999-2004, who said he regretted that he had helped organize Tony Blair’s visit to Russia’s St. Petersburg where he attended a premier at the Mariinsky Theatre alongside Vladimir Putin just a few weeks before the presidential polls in Russia. According to Dearlove, Blair’s visit helped Putin win power, and improve relations between the two countries, which however soon soured again.
"Frankly speaking, we never knew that it is the MI6 that issues permits for prime ministers to visit any social event. This is news for us," Peskov said on Monday.
"Otherwise, I don’t think it is worth any comments," he added.