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Russia includes US National Endowment for Democracy in list of undesirable NGOs

July 29, 2015, 19:24 UTC+3
The Fund has become the first undesirable international organization in Russia
Material has 1 page
Russia's Justice Ministry

Russia's Justice Ministry

© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russia’s Justice Ministry has included the US National Endowment for Democracy into the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activity is undesirable in Russia, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website on Wednesday.

The National Endowment for Democracy was included into this list pursuant to a decision by Deputy Prosecutor-General Vladimir Malinovsky, which was announced on Tuesday.

The Fund has become the first undesirable international organization in Russia.

"Everything complies with our laws," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said commenting the decision to include the National Endowment for Democracy into the Russian Justice Ministry list of undesirable organizations.

On July 28, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office qualified the activities of the US National Endowment for Democracy as undesirable in the territory of Russia.

After a detailed analysis, Russian prosecutors concluded that the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy undermined the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order; the country’s defense capability and the security of the Russian state.

According to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Endowment for Democracy used Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations under its control to take part in campaigns aimed at denying the legitimacy of results of Russian elections; organize political actions designed to influence the authorities’ decisions and discredit the service in the Russian Armed Forces.

"In pursuit of these goals, the fund allocated about 2.5 million US dollars to Russian commercial and non-commercial organizations in 2013-2015," the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

Russia’s law on undesirable organizations adopted in spring 2015 said that any foreign or international non-governmental organization could become undesirable if it threatened the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order, the country’s defense capability and the security of the Russian state.

Undesirable organizations are forbidden to create subsidiaries and spread their information materials in Russia.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that most projects of the National Endowment for Democracy were aimed at destabilizing the internal situation in countries that pursued an independent policy.

"Profound concerns of the US State Department over the future of Russian civil society in connection with a decision to recognize the activities of the US National Endowment for Democracy fund to be undesirable in the territory of Russia is clearly hypocritical," the Russian Foreign Ministry said adding that Washington was supposed to know better than anybody else what is hidden behind the organization’s deceptive name.

"It is a non-governmental organization only on paper. In reality, it has got its money from the US budget, including funds allocated by intelligence bodies, ever since its foundation," the ministry stressed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled the words of Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, who said - absolutely openly - that the organization was intended to be a beautiful faзade for distributing funds among opposition circles in foreign countries.

"The deeds of the fund which is preoccupied with servicing US foreign policy interests speak for themselves," the Russian diplomats said. "The analysis of concrete projects shows that most of them are aimed at destabilizing by various means the internal situation in countries that pursue an independent policy in accordance with their own national interests rather than on orders from Washington," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia appreciates and supports the activities of organizations that are engaged in constructive work, including the promotion of democracy, which is in demand by Russian society. "However, we will never tolerate any mentorship and open interference in our internal affairs on the part of foreign organizations," the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.

National Endowment for Democracy became the first undesirable international organization in Russia following a decision of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office made on July 28. The US State Department said that Russia’s decision was arousing profound concerns over the future of civil society in Russia.

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