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Conflicts: Russia declares liberal Naumann Foundation undesirable

Conflicts: Russia declares liberal Naumann Foundation undesirable

If Moscow declares an organization undesirable, it is effectively banned in Russia. This also affects the political education work of the FDP.

The FDP-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation has been declared an undesirable organization in Russia. The foundation in Potsdam announced this after the Justice Ministry in Moscow updated its black list the day before. Being classified as an undesirable organization amounts to a ban on working in Russia.

“Especially for Russians, especially the foundation’s long-standing partners, working with an undesirable organization represents a high risk,” wrote the board of the Naumann Foundation in a statement. The move shows “that the Kremlin is threatening the global, decisive commitment to civil and human rights. We will not be deterred by this and will stick to our mission.”

The Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom in memory of the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in 2015, was also classified as undesirable, as was the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, which was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022.

Unwanted organizations must stop operating in Russia

The Russian government stopped the political education work of the party-affiliated German foundations of the SPD, CDU, Greens and FDP in Russia shortly after the attack on Ukraine in 2022 and revoked the registration of their offices in Moscow. Since then, the Green Party-affiliated Heinrich Böll Foundation and the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation have also been declared undesirable organizations.

According to a Russian law from 2015, the undesirable organizations must stop their activities in Russia, as the Center for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin explains. Accounts and any property are blocked and representative offices are closed. Russian citizens risk criminal prosecution if they contact these organizations. The Russian Ministry of Justice’s register currently includes almost 160 organizations from Germany, the USA and other countries. The pressure on Russian civil society and its foreign contacts has increased even more since the beginning of the war.

Source: Stern

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