Logo
  Sunday, February 5, 2023
Sign-In  |  Sign-Up  |  Contact Us  |  Bookmark 

The Russian foreign minister on Wednesday rejected European Union presidency holder
The Russian foreign minister on Wednesday rejected European Union presidency holder Slovenia's assessment of the dispute surrounding the British Council in Russia.

"We were astonished by Slovenia's statement, which is based on a simplified and distorted interpretation of the situation," Sergei Lavrov told journalists.

Lavrov said Britain is trying to raise the British Council issue to a European level and play political games using the notion of "European solidarity."

Russia ordered the cultural arm of the British government to suspend its activities in Russian regions from January 1, but the British Council initially defied the order. The offices closed down only after Russian security officials carried out interviews with British Council office employees, measures that the Council called a "campaign of intimidation."

Russia said the offices had been ordered to close because the organization is operating in Russia without proper legal status.

Work on an agreement on cultural centers, which could formalize the council's activities in Russia, was suspended after the U.K. suspended cooperation with the Federal Security Service (FSB) and froze work on a visa simplification agreement following Russia's refusal to extradite Britain's key suspect in a 2006 murder in London.

Britain insists that Andrei Lugovoi, a former Kremlin bodyguard, poisoned ex-Russian security service defector Alexander Litvinenko in London with polonium-210 in 2006, and has demanded the suspect's extradition.

Russia has refused, however, citing its Constitution. The row led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions in July 2006.

Lavrov reiterated his earlier statements, saying Russia had to react to the U.K.'s "unfriendly" actions, and had to freeze work on the British Council's status.

Earlier Russia hinted that the British Council row could be resolved should Britain resume cooperation with the FSB and work on visa simplification.


Print The Russian foreign minister on Wednesday rejected European Union presidency holder Bookmark The Russian foreign minister on Wednesday rejected European Union presidency holder

Related News   
DecJanuary 2008Feb
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910