Britain said Friday its consulate in Saint Petersburg will remain open during the World Cup following reports it had already closed in the diplomatic fall out from the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.
“We have been informed of the planned date for closure by the Russian side,” a spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in London.
“The UK Consulate General in St Petersburg will remain operational for the World Cup,” which kicks off next week and lasts through July 15, she added.
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Russian news agencies reported late Thursday that the consulate had closed its doors citing comments from the British ambassador Laurie Bristow.
The consulate answered calls on Friday and a spokeswoman for the embassy in Moscow said a date for closure would be announced.
Russia and the West have engaged in a major wave of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions since London accused Moscow of being behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury in March.
Moscow has denied accusations it was responsible for the attack on Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter Yulia with the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok.
It ordered 23 British diplomats to leave the country and the closure of the consulate and British Council office in Saint Petersburg after Britain expelled a number of Russian diplomats.
Saint Petersburg is one of 11 Russian cities hosting World Cup matches.
World football’s governing body, FIFA, said over 32,000 tickets have been bought by England supporters.