MPs seek limits to foreign education for children of officials

MPs seek limits to foreign education for children of officials
As Russia readies to ban foreign property for state officials, some parliamentarians suggested making all children of officials who study abroad return to Russia after their education is complete.

MP Vyacheslav Lysakov of majority United Russia party said in an interview that the civil servants’ children must return to their motherland after getting foreign degrees, instead of 'making nests' abroad. The politician admitted, however, that the exact mechanism must be prepared very thoroughly as possible sanctions would concern underage children.

A short time later, as Lysakov commented on his interview he elaborated that the goal of the initiative is to make the officials of all levels send their children to Russian institutes and universities as this would give them the right understanding of what is going on in the country.

Another United Russia MP, Valeriy Trapeznikov, also supports the move. “If you love your Motherland you must study here. We have excellent universities, even in the provinces,” said the parliamentarian.

The suggestion came as the Lower House is discussing the bill that bans ownership of foreign property, from real estate to bank accounts and securities, by state officials and their families. The bill has already received the first of three necessary approvals from the Lower House and President Putin spoke of the necessity of such measures in his recent address to the Federal Assembly.

During the heated discussion on the ban on US adoptions, the popular anti-corruption blogger and protest leader Aleksey Navalny accused Deputy Duma Speaker Sergey Zheleznyak of sending his daughters abroad to study. Navalny questioned both the means and Zheleznyak’s sincerity in his calls to favour things domestic rather than foreign. The MP replied that the Swiss and British schools were his daughters’ personal choices, the money to pay for it was earned and declared before he started his political career and besides, that after their education is complete, his daughters will return to Russia and be useful to the country.