Blue dog, I just looked up Vasiliev's interview on the subject - http://www.rian.ru/interview_sport/2...330389068.html. Basically, he's saying that the pair is quitting due to lack of funding. Though, frankly, some of what he says just doesn't pass muster - for instance, he claims he won't talk to French federation solely because skating for France the team wouldn't develop due to the lack of national competition.
From the NY Times
But there are concerns from Morozov’s non-Russian employers. “I think for, let’s say protectionist reasons, the proximity of the Sochi Games will pose problems for foreign skaters who want to train in Russia,” said Didier Gailhaguet, president of the French Ice Sports Federation. “It’s clear that it will be more and more difficult, because the Russians want their best coaches to train their best athletes, which is normal.”
Gailhaguet said he was concerned that Péchalat and Bourzat would not be able to continue with Zhulin. “There are already problems,” he said. “We’ll live with it. We have a good relationship with the Russian federation, but Sochi is Sochi. It’s important for the Russians.”
That makes sense. So, if you're a Russian coach training skaters outside of Russia, you might be able to keep your students (like Shpilband, Linichuk, and Rodnina)
I really hope (but doubt) that Russia's higher ups are not pressuring its coaches and choreographers to drop foreign students. Russian culture, and really all culture is better served by global exchange. Culture and art, unlike most other things, don't accumulate and increase when you hog and segregate them. Quite the opposite. They atrophy and collapse.
You know that ballet thing that Russians are so proud of? It came from France. If the French hogged it, it would never have spread to Russia where it matured even as it waned in France. Later on, Russia would reintroduce ballet back to France, where it is doing quite well today. If the French didn't share, they wouldn't have it back.
The same is actually true of Russian figure skating on a shorter time scale. When Russia's economy collapsed in the late 90's, many Russian skaters, coaches and choreographers were forced to go overseas to look for funding and opportunities. Doing so kept their expertise alive, and allowed them to keep their involvement in skating. When Russia's economy recovered, they were able to come back to the Motherland and keep the sport going.
Russia's economy is doing OK now, but that won't last forever. Building foreign opportunities and connections is just good insurance for the Russian figure skating tradition, among many other benefits.