Russia's withdrawal from a 21-year-old U.S. high school exchange program will open more than 100 extra slots for students from Ukraine.
With ties severely strained by the Ukraine crisis, Russia told the United States last month that it would not participate in the 2015-16 Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX), which provides scholarships to students from 10 former Soviet republics.
The U.S. State Department's top official for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland, said she is saddened by Russia's decision "to deny their own citizens the opportunity to study in the United States" and hopes Russia's participation will be restored "in the not-too-distant future."
"In the meantime, we will have more than 100 extra slots for Ukrainians," she said in a speech to students in Kyiv on October 7.
Those slots will bring the number available to Ukrainians to more than 300.
The rest of the nearly 240 slots currently occupied by Russians will go to Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia, according to "The New York Times."