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Russia’s green NGO declared ‘foreign agent’ returns grant back to DiCaprio foundation

September 23, 2015, 9:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The donation worth $159,000 was received from the foundation of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio this July for the project to protect the Vostochny nature reserve and the nearby wild salmon rivers
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Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

© Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, Archive

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. An environmental protection organization in Russia’s Far East, included in the NGO register of "foreign agents" last week, has announced a decision to reject financing from abroad, including a donation from the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation.

"At the general meeting, the majority voted in favor of a decision to send back all the foreign funds that the organization has and to refuse to accept them in the future," the Sakhalin Environment Watch said in a statement.

In particular, this concerns the donation worth $159,000 that the Sakhalin Environment Watch received from the foundation of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio this July for the project to protect the Vostochny nature reserve and the nearby wild salmon rivers.

The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation supports projects on preserving and protecting the last remaining wildlife areas around the world and the Sakhalin Environment Watch received its support for the first time in Russia, the organization says.

"Today’s morning these funds worth $159,000 were already sent back to the foundation and the organization has already sent the respective documents to the bank for returning the funds," it says.

Russia’s Justice Ministry included the Sakhalin Environment Watch to the NGO register of "foreign agents" on September 18.

Under the law passed in Russia in July 2012, non-profit organizations which engage in "political activity" and receive funding from abroad are required to register as "foreign agents."

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