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The Moscow Region spent over 12 million rubles ($340,000) on supporting
The Moscow Region spent over 12 million rubles ($340,000) on supporting Russians abroad in 2007-2008, the region's minister of foreign economic relations said at a Moscow city government session on Wednesday.

The program was aimed at extending the Moscow Region's humanitarian, cultural and information ties with Russians living beyond the borders of their homeland.

"The main areas of the support program are the preservation and the development of [the Russian] language and cultural heritage, plus the extension of mutually beneficial economic ties," Tigran Karkhanov said. "The funding for the program stood at 12.4 million rubles."

As part of the program, the Moscow city government has also organized aid to residents of South Ossetia, where the majority of residents are Russian passport holders.

South Ossetia split from Georgia in the early 1990s, and was recently recognized as an independent state by Russia. The move came after a five-day conflict between Russia and Georgia that began when Georgian forces attacked the region in a bid to bring it back under central control.


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