Culture the Diplomacy of the 21st Century?
Russia's assault on the British Council reveals the true nature of diplomacy
Guardian Unlimited (UK), 1/18/2008
Referring to the standoff over British Council offices in Russia, Simon Jenkins comments, "Western democracies propagate their values more effectively through cultural exchange than through bullying rhetoric. . . . Mother Russia could not care less about a smooth chancery diplomat, but her soul is apparently tormented by student visas, poetry reading and Acker Bilk. These, said the Russian Federal Security Service on Wednesday, were 'agents of provocation by a foreign power'. Culture and lifestyle are the diplomacy of the 21st century."