George Soros’ foundation under scrutiny as possible ‘undesirable organization’
Russian parliament members from the Communist Party have appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office to include George Soros’ Open Society Foundations in the “undesirable organizations” list. If Open Society is included in this registry, it will have to terminate all activities in the Russian Federation.
Parliament members Valery Rashkin and Sergei Obukhov filed a request directly with Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. Copies of the request will also be sent to Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov and Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov.
According to the request, the Open Society Foundations “has been engaging in consistent anti-Russian activities over the past several decades, both in Russia and abroad,” while its founder George Soros “makes no secret of his role in bringing down the Soviet Union or in organizing the so-called Orange Revolution and the Euromaidan in Ukraine.”
“The anti-Russian activities of the Open Society Foundations must be acknowledged as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation before they have the chance to become ever more destructive, as we have seen in Ukraine, Georgia and in other countries,” states the appeal filed with the Prosecutor-General’s Office.
George Soros is the founder of the philanthropic organization Open Society Foundations, which has operated in Russia since 1995. Its aims are to support democracy and development, culture and arts, education, healthcare, and civil society.
According to a new law signed into effect by President Putin on May 23, foreign and international organizations can be declared “undesirable” or “presenting a threat to the basic constitutional order of the Russian Federation, its defense capability, or its state security.”
If an organization falls under this category, it will be forced to shut down and will be forbidden from holding public events and from possessing or distributing promotional materials, including through the media. Failure to comply with the law can result in fines and a prison sentence of up t six years for the organization’s employees.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced the law, calling it draconian and repressive. The Council for Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of the Russian Federation drew up a negative evaluation of the law and submitted it to the Russian parliament. The EU has also expressed its concern over Russia’s new restrictive legislation.
A parliament member from Russia’s LDPR party prepared the first proposed list of undesirable organizations and filed it with the Proscutor General on May 25. The proposed list includes the think tank Carnegie Moscow Center, the human rights society Memorial, as well as the Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Read Meduza’s interview with the author of the law here