Lebanon’s Ambassador to Russia Shawki Bou Nassar recently met Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and discussed with him the state of Lebanese students in Russia, among other issues.
Bou Nassar shed light on the COVID-19-induced travel ban currently in place in the Russian Federation, which also affects Lebanese students continuing their education there.
The ambassador mentioned a request that the Lebanese Embassy in Moscow had made in several letters to Russia’s Foreign and Education Ministries, namely to relieve Lebanese students from 2020-2021 tuition fees, Al-Akhbar reported.
He cited the exceptional circumstances that the Lebanese people are suffering from as a result of the prevailing economic crisis and the fall of the Lebanese pound’s value against the US dollar.
Bou Nassar also mentioned the restrictions placed by banks on outgoing offshore transactions and their negative impact on students abroad, who often rely on these transactions to cover their tuition fees as well as day-to-day expenses.
In response, Bogdanov promised to continue to look into the request.
He noted: “The Russian authorities have been forced to tighten measures and procedures for travel restrictions on many countries, including Lebanon.”
“It comes as a matter of protecting residents and expatriates as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.”
On a similar note, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs recently announced the allocation of €3 million aimed at providing financial support to nearly 3,000 Lebanese students newly-arrived in France.
The parents of Lebanese students abroad have been protesting the restrictions on offshore transactions, demanding an exemption that would allow them to freely send funds to their children without having to deal with painful exchange rates and annual transfer limits.