Soros’ Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization were classified as undesirable groups in Russia. The Prosecutor General’s Office is prohibiting Russian and organizations from participating in any of its activities or projects.
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Russia to add Soros foundation in the list of undesirable foreign organization
The Prosecutor General’s Office indicated in its statement that the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation threaten the foundations of the Constitutional order and national security of Russia.
Additionally, the Prosecutor General’s Office said it would inform the country’s Ministry of Justice regarding its conclusion that Soros’ foundation and its affiliate should be added to the list of an undesirable foreign organization.
In July, Russia’s Federation Council placed Soros’ Open Society Institute and eleven other non-government organizations (NGOs) on top of the “patriotic stop-list” and were investigated due to their alleged anti-Russian activities.
The other groups included in the patriotic stop-list were the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute, the MacArthur Foundation and Freedom House.
“I think this is a deeply unfair decision, although of course it was predictable in the current climate, said Arseny Roginsky, founder, and chairman of Memorial, the largest human rights organization in Russia.
Roginsky added, “Soros has done much good for Russia ever since the 1990s, supporting education and science as well as civil society. The organization should be thanked, not banned. But those are the times we live in.”
On the other hand, Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch commented, “The authorities are using the law on undesirable organizations to squeeze the life out of Russian civil society. He noted that the government is pushing other foreign donors to stop their programs in the country because of the increasingly hostile political environment.
Soros established the Open Society Foundations to help governments change from communism to democracy. The mission of the foundations is to build “vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
Soros’ foundation spent more than $1 billion to support education in Russia
Since 1993, Soros through his foundation spent more than $1 billion, which was primarily used to support the education in Russia. The Open Society Foundation helped finance a network of internet centers in 33 universities in Russia.
The foundation also helped Russian scholars to travel and study abroad, developed curricula for early childhood education, and created a network of contemporary art centers in the country.
The Open Society Foundations closed its office in the country but continued to provide grants to a number of civil society groups.
“For all of us at the Open Society Foundations, it has been a privilege since the 1990s to have worked alongside pioneering citizens, educators, and civil society organizations that embody Russian creativity, commitment, and hope, and we are honored to continue this work,” wrote Chris Stone, the president of the Open Society Foundations in August.
Russia believes NGOs are trying to undermine its patriotic unity
Russia recently released a draft decree indicating that its national interests were under attack, which involves NGOs that were trying to undermine the country’s “patriotic unity.
The Russian Ministry of Justice found that the US National Endowment for Democracy spent millions on initiatives to question the legitimacy of the elections in the country, and to damage the reputation of the national military service. The Ministry of Justice concluded that the US National Endowment for Democracy is an undesirable organization.
The Russian government implemented the Law of Undesirable Foreign Organization in June and required the Prosecutors General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to prepare an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and prohibits their activities in the country.
Under the law, the government can shut down the office, freeze the assets, and ban the activities of the undesirable foreign organizations in the country.
The personnel of an undesirable organization including Russian citizens, who cooperates in violating the ban, could face hefty fines and even imprisonment in the event of repeated or aggravated violations.
In August, authorities in the Ural region of Russian banned and removed books from schools and colleges. The books were written by two well-known and objective British military historians, John Keegan, and Anthony Beevor, were included in the list of banned books, allegedly promoting Nazi propaganda. Antonthy Beevor will be arrested if he enters the country.
See the full letter letter here (in Russian) and in Google translate below.
General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation made a decision on the recognition of junk in the territory of the Russian Federation activities of the two foreign NGOs
As a result of studying the material received Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation made a decision on the recognition of junk in the territory of the Russian Federation activities of foreign non-governmental organizations – the Open Society Foundations (Open Society Foundations) and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation (OSI Assistance Foundation).
This decision was made in connection with the appeal of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation on the audit organizations included in the so-called patriotic “stop list.”
This “stop-list” approved by the Resolution of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of July 8 of this year. He drew attention to the activities of the Institute “Open Society” (Soros Foundation).
It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations (Open Society Foundations) and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation (OSI Assistance Foundation) represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state.
Details of the decision sent to the Russian Ministry of Justice to include the said organizations in the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are considered undesirable in the Russian Federation.