(Moscow Times) News of the possible shutting down of an American culture center sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow after 22 years of operation rattled Muscovites on Wednesday. Ambassador John Tefft was the first to break the news in a statement published on the embassy's website, warning that the Kremlin was eroding ties that the two countries had managed to preserve even during the Cold War. "The U.S. Embassy in Moscow deeply regrets the Russian government's unilateral decision to close the embassy's American Center at M. Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow," Tefft said. […]
"It's very bad and shortsighted to destroy the infrastructure of academic and civil contacts. Those who are making these decisions are obviously motivated by some symbolic views [under which] 'America' today is bad in every context," said Ivan Kurilla, a professor at the European University in St. Petersburg.
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