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Russian experts call stop list of foreign NGO’s a troubleshooting measure

July 08, 2015, 21:45 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© Sergey Savostiyanov/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Official recognition of a number of foreign nongovernmental organizations as "undesirable entities" by the Russian authorities is called upon to rebuff the attempts to meddle with this country’s domestic and foreign policies, experts said in an improvised opinion poll taken by TASS.

On Wednesday, the Federation Council, the upper house of Russian parliament endorsed an appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office asking the law enforcers to consider a list of foreign and international NGOs that might be placed on a register of unwelcome overseas entities. The list names George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the MacArthur Foundation, the Charles Stewart 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.

Of the organizations on the list, seven are related to the US, another two to Poland, and three more, to Ukraine. The Russian media have labeled the list as a "patriotic stop list".

Andrey Klimov, a deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign policy committee said the upper house had been getting a stream of signals from different parts of the country and experts communities in the previous few months that the activity of a number of NGOs was apparently contravening the national interests of the Russian Federation, the Russian Constitution and the maintenance of national security.

"Since Russia’s territory stretches from the Baltic shores to the Pacific Ocean and Russia is an important nuclear power, we’re bearing responsibility in the face of humankind for stability on the planet and we can’t permit ‘public activists’ of overseas origin to rock the situation inside the country," Klimov said.

He referred to the experience of the revolution of 1917.

"Public activists, philosophers, artists, and poets were arriving in Russia from abroad en masse then and revolutionaries getting cash from foreign sponsors were setting up their underground ‘cells’," Klimov said. "And all of us know what this ended up in."

The recent coup d’etat in Ukraine was also conjured up in keeping with Western political technologies, he said. "Foreign NGOs did an amassed ideological brainwashing of the population with the aid of up-to-date communication tools."

"As we’re drawing up the lists of foreign NGOs, the operations of which are undesirable for Russia, we don’t apportion blame to anyone," Klimov said. "This doesn’t mean at all they will have to wind up their efforts in this country right after the stop list is published officially."

"Very simply, we’d like to concentrate the attention of appropriate agencies of state power on the inconsistency of what these organizations are doing with the country’s Constitution and laws," he said.

"It’s one thing if an NGO assists in the struggle with cancer or in resolving the problems of orphaned and neglected children but it’s quite another thing when an alien visioning of Russia’s political system and structure is imposed upon the Russians under the guise of humanitarian cooperation," Klimov said.

"Such activities should be cut short definitely because it is much, much easier to do troubleshooting on time than to clear away the rubble and put out fires afterwards," he said.

"The foreign organizations, which the Federation Council put on its stop list, were immediately involved in the February 2014 state coup in Ukraine," Dr. Sergey Markov, the director of the Institute for Political Research and a member of Russia’s Public Chamber.

"The Soros Foundation excelled in sponsoring that coup particularly," he went on. "The activity of the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Democratic Institute is highly undesirable because both are supervised by our explicit foes — senator John McCain and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright — whose statements verge on the calls to dislodge legitimate state power in Russia."

"The foreign NGOs on the ‘patriotic stop list’ not only did not condemn the state coup in Ukraine or the or the hair-raising violations of human rights or the killings of innocent civilians by the Ukrainian Army and the ‘national guard’," Dr. Markov said. "More than that, they are incorporated in an international coalition that is working to supplant Russia’s political system and making no secret of its aspirations."

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