|The British Council said Thursday that it has ceased its activities in Russia as instructed by the Russian Foreign Ministry amid disputes in the ex-spy poisoning case.
“Accordingly we have canceled all scheduled events and programs. We deeply regret this and are grateful for your understanding,” the British Council said in a brief statement on its website.
The British Council is Britain’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It has worked in Moscow since 1959.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced last week that it would order the shutdown of the British Council “due to its unregulated status in Russia.”
The move was part of retaliatory measures against Britain after it expelled 23 Russian diplomats.
Russia-Britain ties have worsened recently over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain earlier in March. London accuses Moscow of being involved in the incident, but the latter has denied any involvement and insisted on direct participation in the investigation of the case.