Russia Declares Bard College ‘Undesirable’

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The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has declared that Bard College is “undesirable in Russia,” TASS reported Monday. “Following the examination of materials, received on June 21, the Prosecutor General’s Office decided to recognize the Bard College foreign-based educational NGO undesirable on the Russian territory. It has been determined that the NGO’s activity threatens the constitutional order and security of Russia.”

A Bard spokesperson said via email, “We are surprised and deeply disappointed by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation’s inexplicable decision to deem Bard College an undesirable organization. Bard first partnered with St. Petersburg State University 25 years ago, co-founding Smolny College, Russia’s first liberal arts college. Since its inception, Smolny College has been an exemplary model for Russian-American relations. Over the course of this partnership, thousands of US and Russian students have had the opportunity to study together on exchange and participate in cultural events, and Bard and Smolny have together held numerous conferences and exhibitions. Nearly 2,000 students have earned Bard degrees while studying in St. Petersburg. This has been a consistently positive and successful 25-year partnership, and it is our sincere hope that the Russian Federation will reverse this unwarranted course of action and reinstate Bard’s longstanding and productive partnership with Smolny College.”



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