The London Guardian & Sorcha Faal – 2007-12-12 23:08:03
Russia Orders British Council Offices To Be Shut Down
Luke Harding / The Guardian
Moscow (December 13, 2007) — Relations between Russia and Britain hit a new low yesterday when Russia’s foreign ministry announced it was closing down the British Council’s regional offices.
The foreign ministry said the British Council had been working “illegally” in Russia and claimed the organisation had violated Russian tax laws, as well as the Vienna convention.
The ministry will shut the council’s branches in St Petersburg, Russia’s second city, and Yekaterinburg from January 1 2008, it said. The British Council’s head office in Moscow would remain open.
At least 20 people, all Russian staff, would lose their jobs, the council said. British officials yesterday described the closure as outrageous — and said it was clearly a political reprisal following the expulsion by Britain this summer of four Russian diplomats in connection with the murder in London of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.
Britain’s ambassador in Moscow, Tony Brenton, described Russia’s move as illegal, and said he was very much hoping that Russia would reconsider its decision.
“This is a continuation of the exchange of measures which resulted from the Litvinenko murder. Why do the Russian authorities want to do something that their own people will suffer from?” he said.
But Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, defended the move. He also admitted it was in retaliation for Britain’s expulsion of the Russian diplomats in July.
“The British government undertook some actions which inflicted systemic damage to our relations so we have to retaliate,” Lavrov told the BBC. “This is nothing to do with anti-British sentiments. It’s the law of the genre, if you wish.”
Sources yesterday told the Guardian that Russia had indicated privately that the British Council would be allowed to carry on if Britain dropped its investigation of Litvinenko’s murder.
The offices’ fate was sealed when the government made clear there could be no deal over Litvinenko, nor over Britain’s demand for the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi, the ex-KGB agent charged with Litvinenko’s murder, the sources said.
Yesterday James Kennedy, the director of the British Council in Russia, said the organisation had fully complied with Russian law.”The foreign ministry claims we are operating here illegally,” he said. “But we are here under a 1994 culture agreement. We have complied with all the rules of Russian legislature in terms of tax and other areas.”
He added: “There is no basis for the foreign ministry to close us down … at a time when there are political difficulties between Britain and Russia we believe cultural and educational relations are more important than ever.”
Russia had joined the ranks of Belarus — which shut down its last British Council office in 2000, Kennedy pointed out.
The British Council is the UK’s main cultural relations organisation. It specialises in educational opportunities and operates in 110 countries and territories around the world. The Foreign Office sponsors the council but it enjoys day-to-day operational independence.
The closure next month is the latest episode in a campaign by the Kremlin against British interests. Tax police first raided the British Council’s Moscow head office three years ago. In August the Kremlin closed the last FM broadcast frequency of the BBC’s Russia service.
Yesterday’s news suggests there is no prospect of a thaw in British-Russian relations next year when Dmitry Medvedev — Russia’s prospective president — takes over. The current president, Vladimir Putin, is likely to become prime minister.
“Given the lack of a legal base which could regulate the activity of the British Council in Russia, the British side was notified that the activity of all regional offices of the British Council in Russia, except for its head office in Moscow, will be suspended starting on January 1 2008,” Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman, Mikhail Kamynin, said.
He added: “The practical activity of the council was accompanied by violations of Russian financial, tax and other laws.”
The organisation had also breached the Vienna convention on consular relations by operating out of British consulates in Russia, he said.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
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Putin Orders ‘First Strike’ Against US Forces Over Kosovo
Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean?
RUSSIA (December 12, 2007) — In reading the latest Military and Intelligence reports circulating in the Kremlin today one cannot help but have the feeling that our World has entered into a Time Warp and instead of this being 2007, we have been plunged back 93 years to 1914.
In 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Empire issued an ultimatum to the Russian backed Serbian government, and who instead of bending to the Western Powers mobilized for war. The resulting aftermath of the First World War left over 40 million dead with an additional 50 million human beings killed by the Spanish Flu Epidemic spread around the World by Western military forces returning from war in 1918.
Here in 2007, we, again, have the spectre of World War looming over us as Serbia, once again backed by Russia, is mobilizing for war due to the Western Powers intention to acknowledge the independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo, and which Russia has vowed will not be allowed to stand.
This is coupled with China announcing the possible beginning of human-to-human Bird Flu transmission and Russia reporting another outbreak of this deadly disease and which the World Health Organization has warned will turn into a catastrophic pandemic.
In response to the latest war provocations by the Western Powers, President Putin today ordered the ‘official’ ending of the arms control treaty with the NATO Nations. Putin has further ordered Russia’s Naval Forces back on World-Wide patrol status, with particular focus being on the Russian Navy’s ability to confront NATO Forces in the Mediterranean Sea, and which controls the sea access to the Balkans.
Particular ominous in these new reports is that Putin has reportedly ordered Russian Military Forces to ‘First Strike’ capability against any NATO force that may seek to block Russia’s sea access to the Balkans and relief to the Serbs upon the outbreak of war.
Though being kept from the American people themselves, and as the former Soviet Leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, has warned, the United States Military Leaders aggressive moves in the Balkans and the Middle East are designed to confront Russia, and not Iran as these peoples are being led to believe.
It is more than a coincidence, too, that the United States is, once again, leading the World towards another depression by their insane monetary polices as they did in the aftermath of the World War I and which led to the Great Depression.
World War, Catastrophic Flu Pandemic and World Economic Collapse have long been the Western Powers ‘master plan’ goal to accelerate their main objective of One World Government upon our World, and which only Russia and China have the ability to prevent.
What is most extraordinary about the horrific plans of the Western Powers against our human race, however, is not their stated goals, but that so many of the Western peoples still fail to see that their lives are about to be destroyed, exactly like those of their ancestors from last century.
As the American people alone face the crushing burdens of accelerating oil prices, the collapse of their stock market, the World-Wide collapse of the US dollar, and the catastrophic collapse of their housing market, it is, perhaps, instructive for them to know what their War Leaders know, and which is:
2,000 years ago the Roman Empire collapsed due to its trade deficit rising to 3% of its total economy.
Fifty years ago, Brazil had a massive trade deficit, which were critical to its decline – the currency was battered over and over again.
Eight years ago, the tiger economies of Asia were plunged into a currency crisis, due to big domestic and over-reliance on foreign capital.
And yet the US economy continues to flaunt history and economics. At 6.4% of GDP (US$58.9bil), US trade deficits are perilous and significantly exceed those of Rome, Brazil or any Asian country one decade ago.”
There is more than an ice storm that has paralyzed the people of the United States today, there is a ‘storm of ice’ that covers their minds and is leading them in their ignorance to an abyss from which they cannot possibly survive as a Nation…but which has been the plan of their War Leaders all along.
© December 12, 2007 EU and US all rights reserved.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes