Donation from Spain was made deliberately to impose ‘foreign agent’ status, says Russia's Anti-Corruption Foundation
Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), says a donation from Spain was made deliberately to give Russia’s Justice Ministry an excuse to list his organization as a “foreign agent.” In an interview with the independent television network Dozhd, Zhdanov said FBK staff tracked down a 140,000-ruble ($2,160) transfer from a Spanish company, which he says is atypical, insofar as the Anti-Corruption Foundation rarely receives donations from legal entities, let alone from abroad.
The funds from Spain were sent to a bank account that officials recently froze in connection with the felony money-laundering investigation against FBK. The television station REN-TV published a copy of the CaixaBank transfer order, showing that a man in Madrid named Roberto Fabio Mon Francisco Suarez sent the organization 110,000 rubles (about $1,700) on September 12 (the same day that police officers raided Alexey Navalny’s offices in more than 40 cities across Russia). On Twitter, Navalny said neither FBK, its bank, nor the Justice Ministry has any record of the document shared by REN-TV, arguing that the money from Spain was transferred to the foundation's bank account after Russian officials froze the account.
Zhdanov told Dozhd that FBK hasn’t yet located any donations from Florida, which Russia’s Justice Ministry says is another source of the organization’s foreign funding. Meduza spoke to Star-Doors.Com (the business named by the Justice Ministry), and a company representative confirmed that the owner — a Russian citizen — donated money to FBK, albeit as a private individual.