Russia intends to promote the Russian language abroad. According to Vesti [news], this was announced by First Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Eleonora Mitrofanova while speaking in Moscow.
'The Russian Foreign Ministry intends to actively defend the status of the Russian language abroad and especially in neighbouring countries,' she stressed. She said that in many CIS countries Russian is now being supplanted by national languages. In her opinion, the closure of Russian schools and the sharp reduction in the level of Russian teaching in the schools of these countries is a serious problem. The number of television and radio programmes broadcast in Russian is also dropping as is the volume of Russian literature.
Promoting the Russian language abroad is one of the main objectives in helping Russian nationals living in other countries. About USD 7 million has been allocated towards this in 2003. Part of the money will be spent on delivering Russian textbooks to CIS countries, while money will also go towards training Russian language teachers and providing holiday accommodation for children in Russian sanitariums.