Eleven Russian science and culture centers will open abroad in the next three years, nine of them in CIS member countries, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) head Konstantin Kosachyov said.
"This is our priority, both political and geographic. Is three to four centers opened a year too much or too little? I can certainly say that this is less than our geopolitical rivals are doing," Kosachyov said in an interview published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Friday.
The task of broadening the network of Russian centers in foreign countries directly derives from the presidential decree on foreign policy issues signed on May 7, 2012, he said.
"We had hundreds of such centers before the breakdown of the Soviet Union. But it was decided in a later period - and that decision was totally wrong, in my opinion - that this network "cometh of evil" and does not deserve state support. Or at least this support should be cut. Sixty-five centers were closed down in the 1990s as a result," Kosachyov said.
Russian science and culture centers interact with associations of compatriots, friendship societies, alumni unions, Russian-language media and pro-Russia and pro-integration non-governmental organizations that are looking for information support, partners, contacts or "at least a room to gather in," the Rossotrudnichestvo head noted.