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Prestigious St. Petersburg University Refused License for Third Time

St. Petersburg’s European University (Svetlana Kholyavchuk / Interpress / TASS)

Russia's education regulator has for a third time denied a teaching license to the European University in St. Petersburg, a private post-graduate school for the social sciences and humanities. 

The university lost its education license in July over building code violations and has since struggled to meet government demands. Critics say the university is being targeted for political reasons.

Education watchdog Rosobrnadzor said in a document published on its website Tuesday that the European University was denied a license for failing to meet building regulations, including fire safety standards. The university was also accused of "providing unreliable information" in its application for a new license.

Supporters of the school have staged several demonstrations this year, and it has received words of support from the Kremlin, following President Vladimir Putin’s order for the education minister and other officials to help the school in 2015.

In a statement on its website in Dec. 2016, the European University said that the Rosobrnadzor inspection had been sparked by a complaint from ultra-conservative St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, author of Russia's infamous “gay propaganda” law.

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