`Little` Britain creates big controversy at G20

The hullabaloo seems to have been contained before it could heighten tensions surrounding the Syrian crisis.

Zee Media Bureau

Moscow: The hullabaloo seems to have been contained before it could heighten tensions surrounding the Syrian crisis but the ‘little Britian’ controversy has highlighted the hardening of stance by world powers over Assad’s fate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin`s spokesman Dmitry Peskov found himself in an unsavoury corner, Thursday, after he reportedly dismissed Britain as `a small island that nobody listens to`.

Though Peskov later denied saying so, yet British Prime Minister David Cameron did not lose the chance to put up a strong patriotic defence.

Cameron said: "We have been told that the Russians absolutely deny making the remark, and certainly no one`s made it to me. But let me be clear – Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience."

"Britain is an island that has helped to clear the European continent of fascism and was resolute in doing that throughout the Second World War. Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world."

"We are very proud of everything we do as a small island – a small island that has the sixth-largest economy, the fourth best-funded military, some of the most effective diplomats, the proudest history, one of the best records for art and literature and contribution to philosophy and world civilisation."

Earlier, it was reported that while briefing Russian journalists at the G20 summit in St Petersburg on Thursday night, Peskov had said that nobody pays any attention to Britain apart from the Russian oligarchs who have bought up Chelsea.

According to the Mirror, Russia`s remarks were clearly aimed at deflating the importance of British Prime Minister David Cameron`s backing for America`s proposed air strikes against Bashar al-Assad regime.

Cameron was left furious over Russia`s remarks and claimed he had fresh evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria.