"The Russian Federation made the decision last week," Ms. Nuland said, "to deny their own citizens the opportunity to study in the United States," Censor.NET reports, citing The New York Times.
Read also: Putin Leads State Campaign to Close the Russian Mind - The Washington Post
"We hope that we'll be able to restore our program in Russia in the not-too-distant future," she added. "But in the meantime, we will have more than 100 extra high school slots for Ukrainians."
Read also: Russia Suspended the Largest Russian-American Educational Program - Tefft
American officials said Tuesday that half of the slots that would have gone to Russian students during the next academic year would instead be allocated to Ukrainians. Ukraine currently has 204 exchange students in the program, and the decision will expand that number to more than 300. The remainder of the Russian slots will go to Georgia, Moldova and Armenia.
The exchange program, which was established after the end of the Cold War, provides scholarships for students from the former Soviet Union to live with an American family and study at an American high school.