Russian government closes American Center in Moscow, ending more than two decades of U.S.-Russia cooperation

The Russian government has decided to close the U.S. Embassy’s American Center at M. Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In a statement published on the Embassy’s website, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John F. Tefft expresses deep regret about the Russian government’s unilateral decision to end “…over 22 years of U.S.-Russia cooperation at the American Center.”

Ambassador Tefft writes:

“These latest unilateral steps further call into question the Russian government’s commitment to maintaining people-to-people ties between the Russian and American people, which continued even during the Cold War and other complicated moments in our countries’ long history.

“The United States remains committed to exchanges and programs that promote cultural ties and mutual understanding between the Russian and American people, and remains committed to continuing the important work of the American Center in Moscow.”

Ambassador Tefft notes that Russia’s decision to close the American Center comes almost a year after Russia cancelled the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program, the largest U.S.-Russian exchange program [the Alliance reported].