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    7,000 STUDENTS FROM CIS COUNTRIES TO STUDY IN RUSSIA FREE OF CHARGE THIS YEAR

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    BISHKEK, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - Humanitarian ties are being stabilized in the territory of the CIS, especially in education, believes acting Russian Education Minister Vladimir Filippov. On Thursday he spoke in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek at the opening of the congress "Russian language in the community of CIS nations." In Mr. Filippov's words, now there is a stable tendency of development of the Russian language in the CIS states, and the prestige of Russian education is increasing.

    The acting minister said the Russian government allocated this year $6 million for realization of the federal program to support Russian in the CIS countries. In Mr. Filippov's words, this will make it possible to establish well equipped Russian language centers there.

    He also noted the growing number of students from the CIS states who receive free education in the Russian Federation's higher educational establishments. The number of students from Kyrgyzstan was about 50 three-four years ago, and this year, it will total 300. Overall, in 2004 the Russian government is giving 7,000 free scholarships for students from the CIS countries, said the Russian acting education minister.

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