The USA responded to Russia’s recognition of three NGOs as “undesirable”.

The USA responded to Russia’s recognition of three NGOs as “undesirable”.

The US Embassy in Moscow called the recognition in Russia of three American cultural and educational exchange organizations as “undesirable” as “a new turn in the struggle of the Russian government with quite ordinary exchange programs between people.”

We are talking about including the following NGOs in the relevant Russian list – “American Councils for International Education”, “Cultural Perspectives” and “Institute for International Education”.

The American embassy’s comment on the decision refers to the desire of the Russian authorities to isolate their citizens. “The idea that it is “undesirable” to connect Russians and Americans on an interpersonal level and to promote trips for professional and educational development is a sad illustration of the Kremlin’s desire to isolate the people of its country, leaving them the opportunity to communicate, expand their horizons and contribute to the construction of a more prosperous and safe peace,” the statement says.

Earlier on Thursday, American Ambassador Lynn Tracy was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, where she was handed an official note demanding that she stop supporting the activities of three NGOs declared undesirable. The message of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated that these organizations implement programs of “anti-Russian orientation” and aim to “recruit agents of influence.”

The US Embassy’s response to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s démarche notes that the State Department has been providing citizens of Russia and other countries with the opportunity to visit, study, and get to know America for more than 70 years. “Communication and strengthening of mutual understanding and respect between our peoples contribute to the solution of common problems and make our world safer. That is why the United States remains open to the visit and education of Russian citizens,” the text emphasizes.

  • Legislation on “undesirable” organizations has been in effect in Russia since 2015. Since then, dozens of foreign structures have been added to the list of such joint ventures. On February 20, it was announced that Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is funded by a Congressional grant through the US Global Media Agency, will be listed as “undesirable”.
  • Entering the “undesirable” register means that the organization is prohibited from operating in the country, and Russian citizens are prohibited from cooperating with it under threat of criminal prosecution.

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