Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
24th May, 2016
The American diplomat Anthony Godfrey, the head of the political section of the US Embassy in Moscow, arrived today in Vladivostok. His recent visit to Vladivostok failed, but here is the second attempt, say our colleagues.
They come and go: in recent months there has been an increased focus on Vladivostok from the highest diplomatic ranks of the United States – Deputy US Ambassador in Russia, Lynne Tracy and the staff of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Ben Purser and John Rader.
And here’s another visitor. At first glance, the honourable gentleman is Anthony Godfrey. But he is not simply another high-ranking American guest, as it seems.
His track record: Activities of the OSCE mission in Chechnya, served in the American embassies in Baghdad and Ankara, left his mark in Minsk, called for fair elections in Armenia in his capacity as acting United States Ambassador in Yerevan, led the Russian direction of the US State Department. And during service of the US Navy, he controlled the disarmament of the Soviet Union. His experience is rich.
The public site “Atlas” indicates that a certain Anthony F. Godfrey was registered in the County of Arlington, Virginia. Whether this is a visitor or his namesake is not so easy to figure out.
But the fact is undeniable: The headquarters of the Ministry of Defense – the notorious Pentagon – is in Arlington. The name of Anthony Godfrey is easy to find among the documents on the famous website WikiLeaks, in particular, in the published correspondence of the former Secretary of State and now candidate for US president – Hillary Clinton.
In addition to Godfrey, among the recipients are, for example, notorious former US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow, who now occupies the post of Deputy Secretary General of NATO. A number of published letters relate to the cooperation with Turkey.
The experienced political guest’s visit coincides with the pre-election activity in Russia and, in particular, in Primorye. As was noted, Godfrey specialises on the identification of trends in the domestic politics of a state, working with the opposition. He does not advertise his goals.
Anthony Godfrey, the head of the political section of the US Embassy in the Russian Federation:
“This is an ordinary political visit – I will meet people. Primorsky Krai is a very dynamic area, we try to understand it. I am very proud that I have the opportunity to visit Vladivostok for a second time. Last time it was 16 years ago. The city has changed a lot, it became very beautiful, I am very pleased.”
From the ship to the ball. Upon arrival in Vladivostok, Mr. Godfrey in one of the restaurants talked with the journalist, philologist Olga Maltseva, for more than an hour. It is known that the DPRK was raised in a number of work issues. If the overseas guest was able to indicate their position, even with on-duty phrases, his counterpart promptly left the meeting place, keeping the “vow of silence”.
Vasiliy Polishchuk, coordinator of the National liberation movement in Vladivostok:
“Political meetings are always reported in the media – it’s an open meeting, but when there is some “covert” fight, war, or some “affairs” are shaped, then, of course, people do not want to answer questions, and try to quickly retreat.
The visit has only just begun – there is probably an informal meeting ahead of the official one. There is information that the guest has the instructions for the opposition before the September elections to the State Duma.”