The Russian Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) is resuming its operations in Syria.
"A new Rossotrudnichestvo representative, Vyacheslav Ovsyankin, has traveled to Syria. The main goal of his mission at the initial stage is to identify the preconditions and the time frame for the Russian Science and Culture Center (RSCC) in Damascus to resume its full-scale activities," the agency said on its website.
p>It is expected that with our representative now back in Damascus "efforts will resume, on a restricted scale due to the current situation, to get Syrian students enrolled at Russian higher-education institutions and contacts will be stepped up with Russian compatriots and the public activists calling for continued cooperation between our two countries," the statement said.
"From the moment of the well-known deterioration of the situation in Syria, our representative office staff has been helping and supporting, to the best of their ability, several dozen Russian families who found themselves in difficult and, at times, tragic situations," the statement said. In January 2013, "conservation" measures were conducted by the Center following a sharp intensification of the armed conflict in Syria.
"The outcome of this work was the forced closure of the cultural center to visitors with a reduced number of local employees remaining, whose duties include ensuring protection for the RSCC internal spaces and the servicing and functioning of its vital systems, Rossotrudnichestvo said.
The head of the representative office was recalled from Damascus on March 5, 2013.