PUSHKIN INSTITUTE of Russian Language and Literature is named after the Great Russian poet – Alexander Pushkin.
Moscow Pushkin Institute of Russian Language was established in 1974 in the Soviet Union by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council, as an educational institution for the teaching of Russian as a foreign language. Within just one decade, the Institute had opened 140 branches in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, in the countries which then were on friendly terms with the Soviet Union.
However, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it became impossible to support financially Institute`s branches all over the world so, shortly after the collapse, they gradually ceased to operate.
In 1992, the agreement establishing Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens as the unique institution that has been working ever since as an independent private enterprise in the West, was signed by the dean of the Moscow Pushkin Institute, Vitaly Kostomarov, by virtue of a joint initiative of the Russian Government and the Greek entrepreneur, Yiannis Yannikos. Pushkin Institute of Athens still remains an exclusive and independent affiliate branch of the Moscow State Pushkin Institute of Russian Language.
Thus, from 1992 to the present day Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens is the official center of teaching Russian language and distribution of Russian culture in Greece.
Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens works under the auspices of the “FOUNDATION FOR THE GREEK – RUSSIAN COOPERATION” which was founded by Yannis Yannikos ,the founder of the Pushkin Institute of Athens, and approved by the Presidential Decree of the 21st of February, 1995 (ΦΕΚ 136.1-3-1995, part 2).
Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens came to replace “Greek-Soviet Association” which until 1991 was the only official center of teaching Russian language in Greece. The functioning of “Greek-Soviet Association” ceased in 1991 due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the lack of necessary funds.
“Greek-Soviet Association” founded in 1945, was one of the most historically important organizations in Greece. Its founders included 120 most famous people in science, art and business of the time, among who were: Nikos Kazantzakis, Angelos Sikelianos, Emilios Veakis, Ioannis Lemos etc.
Today, Pushkin Institute of Athens continues and develops the best educational traditions of the “Greek-Soviet Association” thanks to the efforts of Yiannis Yannikos, an entrepreneur who in 1991, in response to requests from “Greek-Soviet Association” management and the Russian Embassy in Athens, took the responsibility to lead and fund the teaching and dissemination of the Russian language in Greece.
Under these circumstances, was created the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens, which today plays a leading role in teaching the Russian language.
Classes are held in a friendly and creative environment in a building which is located in downtown Athens. Highly qualified teaching staff of the Pushkin Institute makes every effort to ensure that services provided by the Institute were of the highest quality. During its existence many representatives of various private companies and government organizations learnt Russian in Pushkin Institute.
Teachers of Pushkin Institute in Athens were the ones to teach Russian to employees and deputies of the Greek Parliament. In collaboration with a number of Greek ministries, Pushkin Institute certifies the level of knowledge of Russian language among ministries` employees. Pushkin Institute was selected by the Ministry of Education, and, more specifically, the Organization of Education and Vocational Guidance (OEEK) to participate in the Commission on Evaluation of modern methods of teaching foreign languages in Greece.
Pushkin Institute also cooperates with the Athens State University, the Polytechnic University of Athens “Metsovio” Athens University of Political and Social Sciences “Pandeio”, Thracian University “Dimokritio”, Moscow State University, American College of «Baruch» and many other universities.
Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens is the official center of certification and examination of Russian as foreign language and one of six accredited institutes of foreign languages in Greece (Goethe Institute, British Council, French Institute, the Italian Institute, the Institute “Cervantes”), certificates of which are recognized by the Supreme Greece Board Recruitment (ΑΣΕΠ).
The Institute operates the richest Russian Public Library in Greece, which possesses more than 18,000 books.
Pushkin Institute of Russian Language in Athens as well offers interpreting services: translation from Greek to Russian and from Russian to Greek, English to Russian and from Russian to English for individuals, companies, representatives and organizations.
Educational activities of the Institute are not limited just to education, but also extends to many other areas that are important for Greek-Russian relations, such as: assistance to Greek immigrants from the former Soviet republics, the organization of visits of prominent artists, scientists and politicians in both countries, scholarships and grants for students. Pushkin Institute organizes cultural events, which are essential for the development of intercultural relations, such as those that took place in the famous all over Greece the ancient amphitheater “Epidaurus” and the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.
In 2004 Pushkin Institute became one of the sponsors of the Olympic Games “Athens 2004″ and, together with other accredited Institutes of foreign languages in Greece, held free training in Russian, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish for the volunteers that have assisted in conducting Games.
The activities of Pushkin Institute of Athens are included in the Program of Cultural Cooperation of Greece and Russia. The Institute has been repeatedly visited by famous people of Russia and Greece, such as: mayor of Moscow, mayor of Athens, Chairman of the State Duma, the ministers of education, ambassadors and others, noting its importance and rewarding its excellent work. In 1999, the Director of the Institute Stathis Yannikos became the first Greek, who was awarded by the Russian government with the “Medal of Pushkin ” for his valuable contribution to the Greek-Russian relations.
Pushkin Institute of Russian Language is a member of the Greek-Russian Chamber of Commerce.