Russia has labeled a U.S.-based NGO an “undesirable” organization a month after it published a report on life in Russia after President Vladimir Putin.
A Russian law passed in 2015 allows prosecutors to limit or halt the work of foreign organizations deemed “undesirable,” punishing those breaking these limits with fines or prison terms up to six years.
“We are desirable among those who value democracy and human rights,” the Free Russia Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, said in a statement late on Friday following news that it had been classified as “undesirable” in Russia.
The organization, which is chaired by former Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer, had in late May projected a mature, stable system geared toward a relatively smooth succession when Putin moves on.
Pointing to its inclusion on the Russian Justice Ministry’s list of 16 “undesirable” foreign organizations, Free Russia said “we are in good company with 15 other honorable organizations.”
Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office told Interfax on Monday that the foundation’s activities “threaten the constitutional system and security of Russia.”