Day: January 22, 2008

An offer that can be refused

After the British government denied that there were any plans to expel Russian diplomats in London, as some newspapers had claimed, the Kremlin began to try a different ploy, offering a proposal that the British Council’s offices in Russia could reopen if the Britain resumed talks on counter-terrorism and entry visas, broken off in the wake of the Lugovoy/Litvinenko affair. Now Britain’s foreign secretary has responded by refusing to link the matter of the closure of British Council offices in Russia with political issues that affect relations between the two countries. The British Council issue is not a political matter – solely a cultural one.