During March 2021, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science passed two orders permitting the return of international students from a total of 31 countries.
This includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Turkmenistan is not on either list), other ex-Soviet states and a slightly random collection of countries from Syria to the Seychelles. China is not on the list; most of Europe is also absent. The full list is below.
In addition to international students, faculty members, visiting students, and residents are now also allowed to go to Russia.
The Ministry has laid out detailed guidance for those coming/returning to Russia on getting tested for Covid, what to do if they get sick after arriving, and so on.
This news will come as a relief for many of the 26,000 Tajik students who have been stuck at home over the past year and whose online studies have been hindered by Tajikistan’s very real digital divide combining poor internet availability and very high data cost.
In September 2020, Tajik students protested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Dushanbe, appealing for help in getting back to Russia. It seems that their pleas have finally been answered.
Now for the next task: joining hundreds of others trying to get to Russia and finding the eye-watering amount of $350 that the is being charged for a one-way ticket to Moscow.
List of countries able to travel to Russia (as at 31 March):
Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Germany, Greece, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Maldives, UAE, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore, Syria, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Finland, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, South Korea, South Ossetia, Japan.