France shuts official trade agency in Russia on “deteriorated conditions”

PARIS – France decided to shut its ‘Business France‘ trade agency in Russia after what it said on Monday was a long period of negotiations with Russian authorities following Moscow‘s expulsion of its director.

In March, Russia expelled four French diplomats in retaliation against the West over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, Britain.

"Business France‘s working conditions have deteriorated considerably in the last few months," the French embassy said in a statement, adding that the agency had been hit by "illegal seizures on its bank accounts, despite being protected by the Vienna convention."