A former aide to ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted the UK did use a device hidden in a fake rock in Moscow to spy on Russia. At the time of its discovery in 2006 London dismissed Moscow’s claims.
Now, in an interview with British TV Blair’s former chief of staff, Jonathon Powell, says the Russians were right. He described the incident as “embarrassing” and said the Russians had had the rock under surveillance for some time.
He added the Kremlin had held back the discovery to use it for political purposes. At the time the UK and Russia were in dispute over Iraq, Chechnya and other diplomacy issues.
It was not quite the Cold War, but the affair served as a reminder of the ideological differences that remained between the countries, and the extent they to which they would go to get information.