As the conflict in Ukraine continues some experts have warned that efforts must continue to be made so that London is not caught unawares by the possible security risks that might arise given the non-negligible presence of Russian criminal interests in the country.
That was the main thrust of the presentation made by Professor Mark Galeotti, Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at NYU, at an event hosted by London First on June 23rd.
On a more positive note, and despite the warnings to the contrary from some corners, only 1% of London's financial services exports go directly to Russia, Galeotti explained.
"London is a massive, dynamic and truly global financial centre," so the impact of sanctions on Russia and how they might impact on the City should not be over-exaggerated, despite Russians' success in their propaganda to play up that risk, he added.
Nevertheless, the broken response from Europe is dismaying, with each country trying to defend its own interests. Likewise, in London there are those who wish to wet their beak in the significant business opportunity which massive inflows of Russian and East European money constitute.
By some estimate he Russian Federation has registered $70bn of capital outflows year-to-date.
For example, there is a long line of people queuing up to lobby for the likes of Russian lender VTB, which alleges that the Bank of England is discriminating against it. VTB is one of the biggest bankrollers of operations within Crimea and is being linked to helping Syrian regime move its resources around, the professor told his audience.
"We have to recognise that this kind of more moral hazard leaves us open to more problematic types of penetration."
One of the most extreme possible sorts of impact on the UK is the risk of the export of violence.
There are some very outspoken supporters of the Ukrainian position in London. The potential exists for Russian security services to target some of these people. Russia is increasingly willing to use violence abroad. There has been a definite upsurge in this regard.
Up until now London has been considered as very accessible, somewhere to send your money and even your family.
However, if the sanctions regime begins to bite then London begins to lose its immunity.
"This is not me saying that if the Ukrainian conflict continues we will be seeing Kalashnikovs hammering at dawn in a few months' time but we need to consider a whole spread of security impacts [so that we are not caught unawares]."
London First will hold the 'World Cities: Safe, Secure, Smart and Resilient' conference in London in October. World leading security and resilience experts will explore ideas for future-proofing major city environments. Topics include terrorism and cyber-crime, managing natural disasters, global security co-operation, and emerging technology.
Alex Bueso Editor-in-Chief