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MOSCOW, October 17 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian government will soon approve a new program of support to compatriots for 2012-2014, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, addressing the World Thematic Conference of Compatriots in Moscow.
“The document is based on the best practices of the current program, and on new ideas and initiatives aimed to preserve the ethnic and cultural identity of our compatriots,” the minister said.
Lavrov stressed that Russia is committed to “active efforts to preserve and strengthen the position of Russians abroad.”
“The quota for compatriots at budget-financed departments of Russian higher education establishments has been increased to 10,000,” he said. “About 1,200 compatriots make educational trips to historical places in our country a year.”
“Much has been done but further efforts are still needed,” the Russian foreign minister stressed. “The Russian language has become a language of international and inter-ethnic communication, a brilliant and original part of the world heritage."
He also touched upon the subject of forthcoming elections in Russia. “Each vote will be important at the December 4 elections,” he said. “I call on Russian citizens, who are abroad at that time, all out compatriots to come to one of the 350 ballot stations set up by our diplomatic and consular services in 146 world nations and cast their votes.”