British Council is accused of colonization of Russia
Russia continues putting pressure upon the British Council in spite of statements of official figures, which argues that this scandal that has been lasting since the end of the previous year, has no attitude to the policy. The ambassador of the Great Britain Sir Anthony Brenton received the note of protest concerning the activity of the Council in St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg; after that the Russian side made series of rather harsh steps and statements.
Now the FSB joined the conflict. The FSB Centre for Public Relations informed that officials of special services began the outreach among Russian officials of the British Centre in order to ‘guard Russian nationals from being involved as tools into provocative games of the British’.
Yuri Drozdov, a former chief of the KGB's covert operations department, now the head of an analytic centre ‘Namakon’ even argues that the Great Britain is Russia’s official enemy, a potential occupier which aspires to seize a part of our territory. ‘Why is the British Council being so provocative? For the simple reason that some foreign politicians in Britain and the United States are planning to divide up Russia, so that the landmass from Petersburg to Yekaterinburg will eventually become British territory and the Siberia will pass to the United States.’ But the general didn’t named ‘some foreign politicians’.
One could not to attach importance to these words if only the head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov hadn’t spoken out in kind. He recalled that the great Britain was a former colonial empire. He said: "I understand, of course, that historical memory, maybe linked to nostalgia for the colonial era, sometimes prevails over the legal aspect of the matter. But, in any case, one cannot speak to Russia in this way. We always thought that British official figures were familiar with international law". That was said in return to the words of the UK foreign secretary, David Miliband. He stated that Russia had made the British Council a hostage of an indeterminable conflict and that the activity of the Russian side could strain the relations between the countries. Although it should seem that after all that took place during the year, which has passed after the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London, nothing can menace them.
It should be reminded that the Russian Ministry of foreign Affairs banned visas for new British staff at both offices in St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg and refused to renew accreditation for existing employees. It threatened to recover unpaid taxes allegedly owed by the St Petersburg office and said that the Council’s entire operations in Russia were at risk if the defiance continued. It was made in response to the fact that both the regional offices were reopened after the New Year vacations in spite of the Foreign Ministry demand to close them by January 1, since they were operating illegally. The council insists that it complies fully with Russian and international law.
A new strange turn of the conflict came on January, 15 when the director of the British Council office in St. Petersburg Stephen Kinnock was detained by road police officers on Tuesday evening for drunk driving.