The isolation of Russia

by Lorenzo Piccoli

Each year, my university provides 160 fully funded grants that are made available to Ph.D. candidates by the national governments of the 28 EU Member States and a few other countries. Among these other countries there is Russia. Or, I should rather say, there was Russia. Yesterday I have been informed that the government in Moscow has decided to close the convention with the EUI, meaning that from the next academic year no more Russian students will be able join the Institute. Apparently the European Institute is trying to restore the convention, although a success seems very unlikely. Too bad. Russian citizens went through all of this with the Soviet Union, when a closed system only multiplied its inefficiencies and eventually caused complete dismay. Once again, Russian elite’s fixation on isolationism comes with an increasingly high toll on its citizens.