MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Russia does not want to curtail planned cultural exchange programs with the United Kingdom, despite political difficulties, Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky told TASS on Sunday.
"It is easy to destroy while it is difficult to build. That is why, we would not like to curtail our planned, scheduled and partly financed programs of cultural exchange with Great Britain," Medinsky said.
The culture minister said he hoped that the Russia-UK relations would be settled in the future.
"We hope that reckless politicians come and go while Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Stanislavsky, Matsuev and Gergiyev remain. The term of their life considerably exceeds in the hearts and minds of people the term of deputy powers of some British parliamentarians," the culture minister stressed.
The Russia-UK relations have deteriorated sharply in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4.
London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to blame Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the so-called Novichok nerve agent, allegedly developed in the former Soviet Union. The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow.
Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance. In response, Moscow expelled the same number of British diplomats from Russia and ordering to close the British Consulate-General in St. Petersburg and shut down the British Council’s offices in Russia.