Supplementary schools of the Serbian language, to be attended by Serb children living in Russia, should start their work in September in three Russian cities - Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi, the Director of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region Arnaud Gouillon said today. Gouillon, who is on a six-day visit to Russia with a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Sputnik that such schools existed in Russia until two decades ago, and that now the need for them appeared again.
"There is no identity without language, and identity is lost due to one's lack of language skills. These ties are very important, not only in the context of family. We have witnessed that in some countries children do not speak Serbian and are not able to communicate with their grandparents. This is really sad. Looking at this matter in the long term, this also implies losing that connection and thread with Serbia. When the language is there - the identity is present as well, there is a desire to visit Serbia, and sometimes even to return to Serbia", Gouillon said.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced the opening of a Serbian school in Moscow in October 2018, so that the children of Serbian citizens living in the Russian capital could use their mother tongue.