Support The Moscow Times!

London Mayor Backs Away From Tennis Match With Russian Politician

London Mayor Boris Johnson

The mayor of London has said he could withdraw from a tennis match with the wife of a former deputy minister in President Vladimir Putin's government, Sky News reported.

Lyubov Chernukhina, the wife of Vladimir Chernukhin, Russia's deputy finance minister during Putin's first presidential term, won the right to play tennis against British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson for a vertiginous £160,000 ($215,500) at a fundraiser of the British Conservative Party last month.

"They volunteered me to play tennis with some geezer," Johnson told Sky News. "It is very important that full checks are carried out to make sure that this is not somebody who is an intimate of Putin or a crony."

Politicians from both Britain's Conservative and Labour parties have called the donation into question, saying it is incongruous with the United Kingdom's stated desire to adopt a harsh stance on Russia's role in the crisis in Ukraine, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Chernukhina, who is a banker, was declared an "impermissible donor" by the British Electoral Commission in 2012 but has nonetheless made three donations to the Conservative party totaling £5,500 euros ($7,400), according to The Guardian.

See also:

British Lawmakers Criticize U.K. Arms Sales to Russia

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.