Monday, October 6, 2014

An exchange on U.S.- Russian educational exchanges

I was sorry to learn that Russia is dropping out of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. I was in charge of the Youth Programs Division at the State Department in 1992 when we launched the FLEX program, thanks to the enthusiastic support of Senator Bill Bradley. I spent ten years of my professional career building and nurturing the program. I traveled as often as I could to Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Uzbekistan during those ten years. Russia was always t...
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  • 8 people like this.
  • Dawna Bailey I know Bob - it is especially hard for those of us who were with the program since the beginning
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Erika Rogoff Leavitt I saw this in the news yesterday and thought the same thing. How sad for those kids and for all of us. Putin will succeed in marginalizing his country and returning them to the dark ages.
    54 mins · Like · 1
  • John Brown The cancellation of this wonderful program -- and it certainly was not perfect -- is a big mistake re Russian-American relations. I just wish the program had been more "bilateral" (i.e. teenage Americans living with Russian families and going to local secondary schools) --- but the current political atmosphere in Russia allows for no give-and-take on ways to improve the program to suit Russian needs/concerns. The one consolation, from a strictly American perspective: One less government-sponsored program paid for by many tax-paying Americans who can't afford their kids' education or their mortgage in our very own "homeland," the USA. Meanwhile, the Russian wealthy buy up Manhattan
    .Why can't they, the Russian wealthy, show signs of Russian shirokaya dusha [roughly speaking, generous soul -- in a Tolstoy sense I would say] (not to speak of the Russian government) support, in a significant way, Russian-American educational exchanges, instead of incessantly pleading (I speak from experience as an American diplomat in Russia, 98-01) of  "we, dear friend, can't afford it." So, implied in this "We Poor Russians" situation -- an offense, by Russians themselves, to Russian national pride -- is a very elementary, chinovnik message: " You ------s," if you want to propagandize us, you better pay for it."

    Brokers worry that the growing tensions between the United States and Russia could hurt the foreign-fueled...

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