Latvia offers a home to BBC, British Council

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The Latvian Foreign Ministry has advised the British Council in Russia and the BBC's Russian Service that they would be very welcome if they want to set up shop in Latvia after being expelled from Russia, the LETA newswire reported March 20.

Latvia could provide a home to both organizations if the conflict between Russia and the United Kingdom becomes more aggravated than the current tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats over attempted Russian assassinations in the United Kingdom, the ministry said.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international body promoting British culture and education. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the UK's public broadcaster.

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As reported, the relations between Moscow and London seriously deteriorated after poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4 in Salisbury, UK.

The UK is accusing Kremlin of using a prohibited chemical weapon in an assassination attempt on British soil. This month London expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and Russia responded by expelling 23 British diplomats and ordering the British Council in Russia to cease operations.

The UK has threatened to withdraw the operating licence of the RT (formerly Russia Today) news and propaganda channel, with the Kremlin saying any move to do so would result ina  shutdown of al UK media outlets in Russia.

Riga already hosts a small bureau of the BBC's Russian service, plus numerous Russian journalists who refuse to toe the Kremlin's line.

On 19 March 2018, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs took part in the meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

At a meeting of EU foreign ministers on March 19 in Brussels, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs condemned in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, saying it was a serious violation of international norms and law.

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