MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. All joint educational programs with the British Council will be suspended in Russia pending decision on the status of the organization on the country’s territory, Russia’s Minister of Education and Science Olga Vasilyeva told TASS on Saturday.
"Following the suspension of work of the British Council on the territory of the Russian Federation, certainly, joint educational programs with the British Council will be put on hold," she said, adding that the suspension of cooperation will last until "authorized bodies take decision on changing its status."
Earlier on Saturday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 23 British diplomats have been declared personae non gratae and will be expelled within a week. Moreover, the ministry stated that Moscow will withdraw permission to open the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg and close the British Council in the Russian Federation.
The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It works with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Its first office in Russia was opened in 1992 in Moscow, after which the council's branches were launched in a number of cities across the country. Since January 1, 2008 the activities of all regional branches of the British Council in Russia, excluding its head office in Moscow, have been terminated as not complying with the Russian legislation.