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Lavrov: Fewer People Learning Russian In CIS, Baltics

MOSCOW. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov complained on Saturday about "alarming trends" for those learning the Russian language and Russian culture in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic countries to go down in number.

"We pay heightened attention to the CIS region and the Baltic countries. It is important what is being done there by the Russian Society for Russian Language and Literature Teaching and by the similar international association. Keeping up the professional standards of teachers, training specialists and mastering modern teaching technology are especially important tasks in primary and secondary education, where alarming trends for the numbers of those who are taught in CIS countries and the Baltics to decrease," Lavrov said at the opening ceremony for the first assembly in Moscow of Foundation Russian World.

"Strengthening the positions of the Russian language and Russian culture in the world is one of the main tasks for Russia. The fact that this foundation has been set up is an important step in making this work more productive and helping provide resources for and systematize what is being done by Russian language promoters throughout the world," he said.

"The world intellectual legacy is unimaginable without the contributions of Russian literature, philosophy, theology," Lavrov said.

It is also an important task to achieve a more solid status in international organizations for the Russian language, he argued.