Facing the "noticeable negative impact of Russophobic attitudes," Russian authorities have launched a campaign aimed at bringing home young people studying in the UK and other Western countries.
As The Express reports, Olga Evko - a representative of Rossotrudnichestvo, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation - is behind Moscow's "It’s time to go home" returnee scheme:
“The question for our youngsters studying abroad is very serious indeed.
“We have real grounds to worry that young Russians may suffer in provocations in countries that show an unfriendly attitude to (us).”
And guess where those overseas students can go when they get back to mother Russia?
Oleg Mansurov, of PreActum entrepreneurial community, told a Moscow conference on the plan that those with education and work experience in Britain “will be ready to take part in ambitious projects and move again, including to the Far East of Russia”.
Vladimir Putin is seeking to radically boost the economy of eastern Siberia and Russia’s Pacific rim to counter the negative impact of Western sanctions by expanding gas and oil production, gold and diamond mining, as well as nuclear energy and the digital economy.
As The Express notes, the initiative was ridiculed on social media.
Yana Prigozhina said: “I just can't stop laughing. People who invested so much time in the often an incredibly hard step of moving to study abroad are supposed to buy the idea of 'building the digital economy' in the Far East of Russia?”
Referring to a former Gulag transit point in eastern Siberia, Maria G asked sarcastically “Why don't I just swap my PhD in Cambridge for a job in Magadan?
The British embassy was quoted saying “as ever” Russians were welcome in the UK as students or tourists.