The Russian Theater in the Ukrainian capital Kiev has opted not to send a troupe to Russia's northern capital St. Petersburg for the 16th edition of the Meetings in Russia International Festival on Monday. Kiev's Russian Theater was due to receive the Kirill Lavrov Award at the festival, which brings together Russian theater troupes from across the former Soviet Union at St. Petersburg's Baltic House. Sergey Shub, director of the festival, expressed his regret at his Ukrainian colleagues' decision, but said that the award, a recognition of long-standing service to Russian dramatic theater, would be waiting for them next year. Meanwhile, the Russian Youth Theater in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has also withdrawn its participation in the Meetings in Russia festival. "Please do not regard our decision as disrespectful or as a boycott of the festival," reads the troupe's letter to festival organizers. "We hope that this will not affect the development of friendly relations and further cooperation."