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  Thursday, June 20, 2019
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President Vladimir Putin Friday welcomed a forum of top scientific and cultural figures from across the former Soviet Union
President Vladimir Putin Friday welcomed a forum of top scientific and cultural figures from across the former Soviet Union, saying it would help boost integration in the region. Putin told participants the forum was the Commonwealth of Independent States' first major event in the last decade to focus on humanitarian integration in sectors like science, education and culture. "These are [three] sectors that CIS member states consider to be key resources for modernization and development of the national economy and social sphere," Putin said. He said "cooperation in the humanities sphere" was very important and could give a shot in the arm to all integration processes within the loose association of former Soviet states. It could "become a breakthrough CIS project, capable of pushing further all integration processes and demonstrating universal and modern models of interaction," Putin said, adding that despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the common humanitarian basis of its former republics had not disappeared but was rather in high demand. "That is our major competitive advantage in the world," Putin said. "It would be foolish not to use it." With regard to education, Putin said Russia was ready to expand opportunities for CIS students to attend Russian higher education institutions.
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