On Wednesday, Russia’s attorney general’s office described the matter as unwanted and banned three German non-profit organizations from entering Russia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the European Union confirmed that the decision in Moscow harms the interests of the Russian people and limits the opportunities for open and free dialogue. The European Union fully supports independent NGOs, which they see have a major role to play in developing mutual understanding across borders and improving relations between countries.
Since this step is not justified, we call on the Russian authorities to change their minds and contribute to strengthening people-to-people contacts for the benefit of Russia and the European Union.
The Unwanted Organizations Act was passed in 2015. The Russian Public Prosecutor’s Office may declare a foreign or international organization undesirable if it determines that its activities endanger Russia’s constitutional order, its defense capabilities, or its security. Collaborating with unwanted organizations is subject to criminal liability.
Banned German organizations include the Russischsprachiger Europäer eV (Forum for Russian-Speaking Europeans), Zentrum für die Liberale Moderne GmbH (Center for Modern Liberals Ltd.) and Deutsch-Russischer Austausch eV (Russian-German Exchange Association).
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