NGO U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and Rule of Law recognized as undesirable in Russia

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized a non-governmental organization (NGO) from the United States – the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF) – as an undesirable organization in Russian territory, Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson Marina Gridneva told Interfax on Friday.

“The president of the foundation is a U.S. citizen, who has been banned from entering the territory of the country [Russia] for the period up to 2025 due to activities directed against the interests of the Russian Federation,” she said.

In addition to this, “the foundation extended financial assistance to Russian NGOs that fulfill the functions of a ‘foreign agent’ and participate in political processes in the territory of the Russian Federation,” Gridneva said.

“It has been established that the activities of this organization pose a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the state’s security,” Gridneva said.

“Information concerning the adopted decision has been forwarded to the Justice Ministry of Russia in order to include this foundation in the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities have been recognized as undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation,” she said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office also explained that the decision to recognize the activities of this U.S.-based NGO as undesirable in Russia had been made based “on the results of analysis of the received materials.”

According to information published on the USRF website, in Russia the foundation is managed by the board of directors, which includes U.S. and Russian citizens. The foundation has 11 Russian employees at its Moscow office. The director of the USRF branch in Russia is Anna Danilina.

The USRF president is Mark Pomar, who, prior to joining USRF, headed the IREX non-profit organization specializing in student and scientific exchanges.

Recognition of the organization as undesirable entails a ban on conducting operations involving money and other assets, a ban on the establishment of its structural branches in Russian territory and other consequences.

In July, the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, urged the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry to check whether or not the activities of 12 foreign NGOs operating in Russian territory comply with Russian legislation. The so-called stop-list compiled by Russian senators then included 12 foreign NGOs. Most of them are linked with the United States.

The list included the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the MacArthur Foundation, Freedom House, the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, the Education for Democracy Foundation, the East European Democratic Center, the Ukrainian World Congress, the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, and the Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights.

The Federation Council said then that the activities of these NGOs were aimed at influencing the internal political situation in Russia.

One of the organizations on this list – the MacArthur Foundation – announced the closure of its branch in Moscow on July 22.