The Russian General Prosecutor's Office said that activities of yet another non-governmental organization from the United States, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), are “undesirable” on the territory of Russia. This was information was posted on the website of the Russian agency, as reported by Grani.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, activities of the NDI are a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of Russia. "Details of the decision have been sent to the Russian Ministry of Justice so that this organization can be included in the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are considered undesirable in the Russian Federation," the press service of the agency said.
The NDI was founded in 1983. Currently, the organization is headed by Madeleine Albright, who served as the US Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. According to the NDI website, the organization is aimed at enhancing civic participation, increasing openness and competition of political systems and development of the effectiveness and accountability of the authorities in the world.
On May 23rd last year, Vladimir Putin signed a law on undesirable foreign organizations. NGOs recognized as undesirable cannot transfer money to Russia, open offices there or implement their programs. Distributing information about such organizations is also forbidden.
Citizens face fines for participating in the activities of undesirable NGOs. For repeat offenses or for the managing of such organizations, a citizen could spend up to 6 years in prison under article 284.1 of the Criminal Code. Foreigners involved in the activities of the undesirable NGOs are banned from entering Russia.
On November 30th, the General Prosecutor's Office recognized two foreign NGOs—the Open Society Fund and the Support Fund—as undesirable on Russian territory. Their activities were found to threaten the fundamentals of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and state security, the agency spokesperson, Marina Gridneva said.
The Prosecutor General's Office’s decision caused concern in the United States. "These actions are another example of the increasing pressure of the Russian government on independent voices," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. According to him, this decision is "a conscious step towards further isolation of the Russian people from the world."
On December 4th, the Prosecutor General's Office acknowledged the activities of the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law as "undesirable". "Among other things, the fund provided financial support to Russian NGOs and participated in the political processes of the Russian Federation. It's established that the activity of this organization is a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state," the press statement of the supervising agency said.