Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-037"
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"Mr President, I rise on a matter which refers particularly to one Member State but, I believe, has wider European implications. This year is the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. One institution which does much to promote intercultural dialogue is the British Council. It is therefore of particular concern that Russia seeks to close the offices of the British Council in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. The work of the British Council in Russia is perfectly legal. It is regulated by a 1994 cultural agreement between London and Moscow. I therefore request that the matter be raised by colleagues with Russia in the context of our interparliamentary dialogue and that you, Mr President, use any opportunity which presents itself to express concern to the Russian authorities that a cultural matter, regulated by a perfectly normal agreement between two countries, is being trodden upon in an attempt by the Russian authorities to stifle political debate."@en1
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