MOSCOW, December 12 (RAPSI) – The Prosecutor General’s Office has asked Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to websites of 11 organizations designated as “undesirable”, the press-service of Roskomnadzor stated on Tuesday.
The Open Russia website has been already blocked, according to the organization’s statement published on its Twitter account.
These organizations include: the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Open Society Foundation (Soros Foundation), the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, U.S. Russia Foundation, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Media Development Investment Fund, Inc., the International Republican Institute (IRI), Otkrytaya Rossia (Great Britain), Open Russia Civic Movement (Great Britain), Institute of Modern Russia (United States), Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (Romania).
In October, the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow dismissed an appeal filed by Otkrytaya Rossia demanding to remove it from the list.
In April, Russia’s Justice Ministry added Otkrytaya Rossia, Open Russia Civic Movement and the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) located in the U.S. and founded by former Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, to the list of "undesirable organizations". The decision was made upon the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
According to prosecutors, these organizations implement special programs and projects aimed to discredit election results in Russia and recognize them as illegitimate. The Prosecutor General’s Office believes that “undesirable” foreign organizations create conditions for protest rallies and destabilization of political climate in Russia.
The law stipulating that foreign NGOs can be put on "undesirable organizations" list if they are believed to be a threat to the Constitution, defense or security, came into effect on June 3, 2015. These organizations are to be prohibited from working and from circulating information materials in Russia, and their offices and branches are to be closed.
A decision to declare a foreign or international NGO an undesirable organization can be made or reversed by the Prosecutor General or his deputies, based on consultations with the Foreign Ministry. The Justice Ministry is authorized to compile and publish a list of non-grata organizations.
On March 28, 2017, President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting "undesirable" NGOs from creating Russian legal entities.