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First American Company to Return to Crimea Since Russia Sanctions

The Coursera online educational service has received permission from the U.S. government to operate in Crimea, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Coursera — the world's largest online learning platform — has been unavailable to residents of the annexed peninsula since Feb. 1, 2015 in connection with sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S.Many members of the educational community were opposed to this, saying that education should be available to people around the world.

“I do not know a single American professor who supported these restrictions [on accessing Coursera] in Crimea,” said Isaac Frumin from the Higher School of Economics, Kommersant reported.

Ines Roman, a spokesperson for Coursera, stated in June that the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control gave the website a special license to work in Crimea.

“We think it is very important that the opportunity to receive a better education is available to everyone, wherever they live,” said the spokesperson.

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