We ask to allow the issue of student visas for the purpose of studying in Czech universities for the citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus
Dear Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, dear ministers of the government of the Czech Republic, dear employees of all the ministries of the Czech Republic,
we, foreign students, have long been forming a considerable part of the Czech academic world. According to different statistics, 15-17% of students in Czech higher educational establishments are foreigners, and about 15% of those (7000 students a year) are citizens of the Russian Federation. What attracts us in Czechia, is the opportunity to study in Czech, a language related to Russian, safe and peaceful life in your country, and relatively low life expenses and a desire to later receive a residence permit in your wonderful country.
What is important though is not just what attracts us in Czechia, but also why we are trying to leave Russia. This so-called Putin’s “stability” which in fact for a young and active person means threat of intensifying censorship, feeling of constant danger of prosecution, shame for the imperial outrage of this state. These are just a few reasons that force us to seek life outside modern Russia.
On February 25, 2022 the government of the Czech Republic approved the Resolution #130 which suspends the acceptance and processing of visa applications from Russian nationals. By this step the Czech government reacts to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Dear statesmen of the Czech Republic, we ask you to cancel or change this resolution which is ruining our lives, the lives of thousands of young Russians with European mindset. It wasn’t us who started this war, we are strongly against any intrusion in the affairs of other states, it’s not our war, it’s not us who are running this war. Great majority of our parents and us have never given our votes for the current Russian representatives of state power, they don’t represent our interests, we don’t want to have anything to do with their shameful actions. We are not a threat to the national security of Czech Republic.
We are the people who share European values. Unfortunately, the government resolution of February 25 punishes us first of all. This resolution forces thousands of young Russians to stay in Russia and forget about their life-long dream of a bright future in a democratic European country. If this resolution remains unchanged, this year thousands of young Russians who have been studiously learning Czech language online for several years and preparing for their entrance exams to Czech universities, thanks to the Russian government, will lose the prospect of their future in Europe and will have to forget about their dream to which they have invested a long of time and efforts.
The Belarussians have found themselves in the same desperate position, they are also affected by the ban to issue visas to the citizens of Belarus which was approved by the government of the Czech Republic on March 2, 2022. After the anti-government protests of the Belarussian society in 2020, Belarussians received support from the Czech higher education institutions, but at this time it’s prohibited to issue visas to them. It’s important to realize that these are the same people, people who share European values and strive to receive quality education in a safe democratic state – the Czech Republic. These people are a great hope for Belarus as well, but they can also contribute to the future of the Czech Republic. The whole world witnessed two years ago how active and democratically oriented people unfolded a powerful protest movement which, despite of its scale, wasn’t able to change the political situation in the country. It’s wrong to punish those people for the steps of the Belarus political leaders and deny them the opportunity to leave Belarus in order to study in the Czech Republic.
Parents, grandparents and Czech language teachers of these young people also ask you to cancel or change this decision. For obvious reasons we worry about the future of our children and our students, we don’t know how to remedy this sudden collapse of all plans and abrupt depreciation of the efforts of our children who are not responsible for this war conflict.
Dear Prime Minister, dear Professor (we turn to you not just because you are the head of the Czech government, but also because you are a high school professor, ex-rector of the Masaryk University and the father of three children), dear ministers, dear employees of the ministries, we ask you to show understanding and mercy to us, Russian applicants and students of Czech higher educational institutions. We ask for your help.
Applicants and students for Czech higher educational institutions, their parents and teachers.
Serafim Khoronov Contact the author of the petition
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