Russia to Develop School Exchange Programs With Europe, Asia: Education Ministry

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Astapkovic  / Go to the photo bankDeputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov
Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov - Sputnik International
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Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday.

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday.

"We have sufficient [student] exchange with many countries. Agreements on cooperation in the educational field are signed with over 70 countries across the world. Quite a few international exchange programs are operating, and not only with the United States, but also with Europe, Asia . . . These will be further developed," Kaganov said.

Commenting on Russia's decision to pull out of the FLEX program, the deputy minister said that he "so far does not see a big problem", as Russian students have the opportunity to participate in a number of other exchange programs.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Russia John F. Tefft said in a statement that Russian authorities had informed the US embassy of their decision to cancel the participation of Russian students in the 2015-2016 Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX).

The program has allowed more than 8,000 Russian students to travel to the United States for free over the last two decades, staying with host families and attending American high schools.

Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov explained that the decision to cancel Russia's participation in the program was made after a US host family took a Russian teenager who entered the United State via FLEX into legal custody, breaching obligations on children's return back to their home country.

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