This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
 
You are in: Learning English > News English > Words in the News
 
Learning English - Words in the News
 
26 December, 2007 - Published 14:04 GMT
 
Russia orders British Council closures
 
British Council in Russia logo

Russian government has ordered the British Council to close down virtually its entire operation in Russia by January the first. It's accused the British Council of operating illegally - a charge the Council denies. This report from Richard Galpin:

Listen to the story

A spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry said all fifteen regional offices of the British Council would have to suspend their activities from next month. These include the new office in St Petersburg opened by Tony Blair last year. Only the headquarters in Moscow will be allowed to continue operating.

The Russian government has given a whole raft of reasons, including that the British Council has no legal basis for its work in the country and that it has violated tax laws. But the Council says it's fully compliant with all tax requirements and says it operates in Russia on the basis of an agreement signed in the 1990s.

It seems the real reason for this action is Russia's continuing anger at the expulsion of its diplomats from London last July over the Litvinenko affair. Now relations between Moscow and London are about to take yet another turn for the worse.

Richard Galpin, BBC, Moscow

Listen to the words

spokesman
a person who speaks for another person or group

suspend
stop (usually temporarily)

headquarters
the centre of operations of an organisation

operating
running or continuing business

whole raft of
a number of, a range of

violated
broken (especially law)

compliant
obeying, following the regulation

expulsion
driving out, sending out

diplomats
people representing a country in negotiations with other countries

take yet another turn
become


Try a comprehension quiz based on this story

For teachers
Lesson planDownload a lesson plan based on this story (67 K)
 
 
SEARCH IN LEARNING ENGLISH
 
 
 
LATEST STORIES
27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
 
Other Stories