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Russian Prosecutors Say British Council Probed Again


24 January 2006 -- Prosecutors in the Russian city of St. Petersburg are reopening a probe of the regional branch of the British Council on suspicion of tax evasion.


Russian media say the St. Petersburg police launched an initial investigation last summer before closing the case. The regional prosecutor's office decided to reopen the case on the grounds that there was not enough evidence to halt the probe.


Investigators reportedly suspect the St. Petersburg branch of the council, a nonprofit organization linked to the British government, of avoided paying Russian taxes on English-language courses.


The council's office in St. Petersburg was not immediately available for comment.


(gazeta.ru, AFP)

Managing Russia
On December 16, 2005, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a panel discussion on the 4 December Moscow City Duma elections, which have been widely seen as a preview of the 2007 national legislative elections.


VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA is the official representative of the liberal Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) in Washington, D.C., and a co-founder of Free Choice 2008. Kara-Murza described the elections as an "exciting time" for Russian liberals, emphasizing the "breakthrough" achieved when the SPS and the Yabloko party ran a joint list of candidates and secured seats on the city council.

Listen to Kara-Murza's complete presentation (about 10 minutes).
Real Audio Windows Media


ANDREI PIONTKOVSKII is the executive director of the Moscow-based Strategic Studies Center and a member of Yabloko's Federal Council. In his presentation, Piontkovskii emphasized that liberal values are under assault in the Russia of President Vladimir Putin and analyzed the importance of the SPS-Yabloko cooperation.

Listen to Piontkovskii's complete presentation (about 10 minutes).
Real Audio Windows Media

See also:

The Moscow City Duma Election -- A Case Of Managed Democracy

A Turning Point For Russia's Liberal Parties?

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