200th Anniversary of U.S.-Russia Diplomatic Relations (1807-2007) US Department of State
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Bicentennial Partnerships: Education and People-to-People Connections

Bicentennial Partnerships reflect American and Russian cooperation in a range of areas as part of the U.S. Embassy Moscow's commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of U.S. - Russia Diplomatic Relations.

Cultural Ties Beyond Diplomacy

Dating back to the 18th Century Age of Englightment when historic Americans and Russians -- Thomas Jefferson and Tsar Alexander I, Yekaterina Dashkova and Benjamin Franklin -- regularly exchanged thoughts on liberty and ethics, our two nations have pursued opportunities to develop friendship and business ties beyond diplomacy.

The foundation of Russian-American relations - both our friendship and our capacity to work together as two great nations - has rested on how well ordinary citizens on both sides understand each other. Many believe that the most important contribution towards an enduring Russian-American relationship is to invest in expanding the knowledge and contacts among people in both countries.

The Brightest Spots in U.S. -Russia Connections

Dynamic connections, forged by people-to-people contacts through exchange of students, scholars, scientists, professionals, athletes, and cultural exhibitions continued and thrived, despite the years of political challenge. Many more Russians and Americans have come to know each other through tourist visits and business interactions. Some particular bright spots include:

  • More than 50,000 Americans and Russians have participated in formal exchange programs, broadening professional skills and expanding understanding between citizens of both countries. Alumni share their success stories while professional exchanges continue to grow.

  • Russian and American scientists perfected the polio vaccine, colloborate in cancer and other research, are beating the odds in HIV/AIDs prevention and treatment, and reaching new levels in space exploration.

  • Cooperation in nuclear security and joint efforts against terrorism are helping to keep the world safe from global threats.
  • Collaboration across the spectrum of the arts and humanities continues to dazzle audiences while competition in sports keeps athletes on their toes.

    Bicentennial Highlights

    Closer Than We Think: A Traveling Exhibit in Russia To illustrate the trajectory of history, "Closer Than We Think: 200 Years of Russia - U.S. Diplomatic Relations" will travel to U.S. Consulates and American Corners across Russia during 2007. This 12-panel exhibit will show what average people -- some famous, some not -- did to help shape relations between the American and Russian people, from our shared roots during the age of enlightenment to cooperation and competition in the arts, science, commerce, education, space and at times of war.

    America and Russia Essay Contest On 200 Years of Relations: For high school students in Russia and the USA, this essay contest will challenge young people in foreign affairs. The essay contest will be conducted by the Embassy, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Fulbright Office in Russia. Junior Achievement of Russia is also conducting its annual "Words" contest on "200 Years of Acquaintance."

    Expanding the Possibilities for Cooperation in Higher Education

    U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Minister for Education and Science Andrei Fursenko of the Russian Federation sign the MOU

    On May 31, 2006, Secretary Margaret Spellings and Russian Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Education and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation on expanding cooperation and exchanges in the field of education. This Memorandum of Understanding is the first of its kind between the U.S. Department of Education and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. [Press Release] [Memorandum of Understanding]



  • Russian Exchange Students On Their Way to the USA Building Scholarship and Understanding Through Education Partnership

    Exchange students have impact far beyond their studies. As global ambassadors, they tell the story of their own country and culture while abroad and bring new understanding to friends, family and colleagues back home.

    The American people have funded an array of education and professional exchange programs, designed to boost mutual understanding between Russian and U.S. citizens on many levels. More



    Ufa Campers Camps for Kids in English In cooperation with Russian counterparts, the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy has hosted successful Summer Camps in multicultural communities. The camps are part of the international "Access Microscholarship Program" for disadvantaged youth offered by the U.S. Department of State.



    American Centers and Corners in Russia

    Stretching across the 11 time zones of Russia, American Centers and Corners are a resource-laden network -- featuring regular speakers and exhibits plus books, periodicals and online internet capabilities -- designed to improve mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and Russia. Read more about Bicentennial projects and activities at these dynamic centers at their website.