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    MOSCOW, April 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow-based Alexander Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language will host the 3rd International Russian-language contest for school students from CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and the Baltics April 11-18.

    Talking to RIA Novosti, organizing-committee officials noted that this event was being held in order to promote Russian-language studies in CIS countries and the Baltics, so that contest participants could get to know modern Russia better.

    This contest is to involve senior Russian-school students, i.e. the winners of regional and national Russian-language contests, from 9-th, 10-th and 11-th grades.

    Those taking part in the contest will be offered about 15 phonetic, lexical, grammar and stylistic tests during the first round.

    Meanwhile second-round participants will have to work on some creative assignments, also answering various language-culture questions.

    School students can participate in two optional contests, i.e. "Young Poet" and "Young Orator".

    Absolute champions will be entitled to stipends, also having the right to enroll at Russian colleges and universities without any entrance exams whatsoever in line with recommendations of Russia's Education and Science Ministry; they will subsequently major in Russian language and literature.

    The second international contest for school students from CIS countries and the Baltics was also held in Moscow April 20-27, 2003, what with five absolute champions getting stipends and entering Russian high-education establishments without exams.

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