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Russia Warns CSKA Fans to 'Behave With Dignity' Before Arsenal Game in London

CSKA fans Valeriy Matytsin / TASS

The Russian Embassy in London has warned its compatriots to “behave with our inherent dignity” during CSKA Moscow football club’s key match with Arsenal this week. 

Arsenal hosts CSKA Moscow in London for the first leg of a Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night. The fixture comes against the backdrop of mutual diplomatic expulsions over the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England last month, which London and Moscow have blamed on each other.

“In order to avoid provocations against Russians, we urge you to avoid conflict situations with the authorities and local residents, to behave with our inherent dignity,” the Russian Embassy in the U.K. said in an online statement Saturday. 

It urged football fans to avoid joking with passport control officers at London’s airports and consuming alcohol at Emirates Stadium on match day. 

“In the climate of the anti-Russian campaign being conducted in Great Britain, which is leading to an increase in Russophobic sentiment, we call for greater caution when visiting the United Kingdom,” the embassy wrote. 

The Russian Embassy also advised Russians to think twice before travelling to Britain, warning of possible harassment from the authorities, including the risk of objects being planted in their luggage. 

"We can't rule out increased attention by British law enforcement agencies and intelligence services to Russian passport holders," the embassy said.

Also on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry demanded an official explanation from the U.K. after the search of a Russian passenger plane in London, which Britain defended as routine. 

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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