British Council in Saint Petersburg defies Russian ban

#1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/2008011...80114082524;_ylt=AlS7wVZxCo.zFVpn2Jv7gw.QOrgF

Britain's overseas cultural arm, the British Council, reopened its Saint Petersburg office on Monday in defiance of a Russian ban.

"The British Council wants to continue its work in Russia and Saint Petersburg. We hope we'll find a solution to this," the head of the office, Stephen Kinnock, told journalists.

Monday's opening after a Christmas break came in defiance of a requirement by Russia's foreign ministry that the British Council close regional branches in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg from the start of this year.

Moscow said the ban was in response to Britain's expulsion of four Russian diplomats last summer.
What would happen later. The office of British council in Saint Petersburg could be closed by the authorities and it would result in outcry in Western mass-media that likely would be ignored.

I fancy what British government would do if Russian diplomats would disagree to leave the UK? Likely they would be forcibly extraticted.
 
#2
Or perhaps the Russian Government should grow up and start acting like the political power they aspire to.

msr
 
#3
Much as I agree the Russkies are being twats, it is their country and the doctrine of sovereignty dictates that they have the right to determine which foreign bodies work in their country. UK Govt is playing rather fast and loose with the acceptable canons of international relations by ignoring the instructions of the host government.

I don't doubt for a minute, though, that we'll hear all sorts of whining from Moscow when the consequences of their actions kick in. If you don't want to play with our ball, fine. We'll take it home.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Looks like things are warming up a tad, and getting just a little petulant.

What'll happen next I wonder? Maybe the offices will be raided and then forcibly closed down, followed by more expulsions from the UK etc, etc, etc.

Who can throw their teddy the furthest?
 
#5
msr said:
Or perhaps the Russian Government should grow up and start acting like the political power they aspire to.

msr
Or perhaps the British Government should grow up and start acting like the political power it pretends to be.

There is Russian saying: Don't feel youselves as guests but don't forget that you are guests.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#6
As long as both sides behave until after my little trip end of March.
 
#7
Doesn't this all follow a recent pattern of Russia throwing her weight about? Sticking their flag under the North Pole, more long range bomber flights 'toward' Britain, fleet in the Med on exercises, whining about diplomats and refusing to extradite folk. You'll be able to tell when they get really serious because they'll put the price of gas up.
 
#8
KGB_resident said:
msr said:
Or perhaps the Russian Government should grow up and start acting like the political power they aspire to.

msr
Or perhaps the British Government should grow up and start acting like the political power it pretends to be.

There is Russian saying: Don't feel youselves as guests but don't forget that you are guests.
Maybe we should expel all your prostitutes and crooks in retaliation...

I was going to say how sad it is that Putin is bringing politics into high culture, and how much I adore Russian literature- Dostoevsky, Babel, Bulgakov, Lermontov esp.- then I remembered that all my favourite Russian writers had been exiled, imprisoned or shot by the then Russian governments...
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Rumpelstiltskin said:
KGB_resident said:
msr said:
Or perhaps the Russian Government should grow up and start acting like the political power they aspire to.

msr
Or perhaps the British Government should grow up and start acting like the political power it pretends to be.

There is Russian saying: Don't feel youselves as guests but don't forget that you are guests.
Maybe we should expel all your prostitutes and crooks in retaliation...

I was going to say how sad it is that Putin is bringing politics into high culture, and how much I adore Russian literature- Dostoevsky, Babel, Bulgakov, Lermontov esp.- then I remembered that all my favourite Russian writers had been exiled, imprisoned or shot by the then Russian governments...
That's not fair now is it? What about the high culture of the novus riche Russians spreading throughout the world with their bling, wedge, Mercs and trophy ex-whore wives? They put mere English Wags and Footies to shame, so they do.
 
#10
Rumpelstiltskin said:
KGB_resident said:
msr said:
Or perhaps the Russian Government should grow up and start acting like the political power they aspire to.

msr
Or perhaps the British Government should grow up and start acting like the political power it pretends to be.

There is Russian saying: Don't feel youselves as guests but don't forget that you are guests.
Maybe we should expel all your prostitutes and crooks in retaliation...
... and begin with well-known crook mr.Abramovitch. What is he doing in the UK? I would not object nationalisation of FC Chelsea. As for prostitutes then it is also a very good idea.

Meanwhile

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080114/tpl-uk-russia-britain-relations-43a8d4f.html

Russia to stop issuing visas to British Council staff
As I suspect, the British hoped to see (and report about) police action but unfortunately Russian diplomats apparently foresaw this intention.

Btw, allegedly British council offices in Russia were overcowded by MI6 lads and lassies.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080114/96568353.html

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday the British Council's decision to keep two of its regional offices open in defiance of a closure order was a provocative act.
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
Btw, allegedly British council offices in Russia were overcowded by MI6 lads and lassies.
Wrong again. What is it with you Russians, you see spies, provocation, foreign agents and other nonsense everywhere you look?

FFS, get a grip of your culture - oh and pop into the British Council offices and enjoy some of ours ;)

msr
 
#13
msr said:
KGB_resident said:
Btw, allegedly British council offices in Russia were overcowded by MI6 lads and lassies.
Wrong again. What is it with you Russians, you see spies, provocation, foreign agents and other nonsense everywhere you look?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4638136.stm

Russia's state security service, the FSB, has accused British diplomats of spying in Moscow.

It backed claims made in a Russian TV report which showed footage of what it said was British agents retrieving data from a fake rock planted on a street.
...
Prime Minister Tony Blair has refused to comment on the Russian claims.
...
"I'm afraid you're going to get the old stock-in-trade, of never commenting on security matters. Except when we want to, obviously."

Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed FSB spokesman as saying that "everything that was shown [in the programme] was true and based on our information".

The programme said four officials from the UK embassy and one Russian citizen, allegedly recruited by the British secret service, downloaded classified data from a transmitter in the rock onto palm-top computers.
 
#14
That's from 2 years ago. And where is the suggestion they worked for the British Council?

msr
 
#16
msr said:
That's from 2 years ago. And where is the suggestion they worked for the British Council?

msr
2 years. It is quite recently and had Russian authorities been asured that nothing similar would not happen again? Mr.Blair prefered not to comment the story at all.

British Council is the organisation funded by British government. So it is possible that it could be used in spy activity.
 
#19
light_projector said:
I'm outraged. We should expel all the Russian oligarchs and hand all the houses worth over £5,000,000 to homeless ex-servicemen.
Even don't dream about it. Huge army of poison-mouthed lawyers would emerge to defend rights of poor tycoons.
 
#20
http://news.scotsman.com/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=3467987

RUSSIA'S security chief claimed yesterday western spies were working to weaken and break up his country - and he singled out Britain's MI6 agents as the most dangerous.
...
The British Council is one of the organisations that has come under scrutiny. Two years ago, Russian police raided its offices, claiming it was involved in illegal commercial activity on which no tax was being paid.

Mr Patrushev said his agency had learned how to counter British intelligence. "We know both its strong and weak points," he said.

"When counteracting British intelligence, we take into account their centuries of tradition and vast experience of spying.

"Since the time of Elizabeth I, [MI6] officers have been guided by the principle that the end justifies the means. Money, bribery, blackmail, freedom from prosecution for crimes - these are their main methods."

He claimed that British intelligence had relied on people who fled abroad to avoid criminal charges in Russia...
 

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