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Maria Gaidar’s Social Demand fund will refuse Russian presidential grant

July 20, 2015, 13:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Social Demand director Maria Gaidar wrote a resignation letter on Thursday
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© ITAR-TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofiyev

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. The Social Demand foundation headed by newly-appointed Deputy Governor of Ukraine's Odessa region Maria Gaidar will continue working, but it will give up the presidential grant, the foundation’s press secretary Natalya Malysheva told TASS on Monday.

"The fund will continue its work, we will implement current projects and plan to continue working," Malysheva noted.

The press secretary also said that the Social Demand director Gaidar wrote a resignation letter on Thursday. "It is being decided who will head the fund," Malysheva added.

The fund also refused the presidential grant, the press secretary continued. "We actually wrote an application to refuse the presidential grant," she said.

Last week, Georgia’s former president and Odessa’s Governor Mikheil Saakashvili appointed Russian public figure Maria Gaidar as his deputy. Gaidar is the daughter of Yegor Gaidar, an ideologist of liberal economic reforms in Russia in the 1990s. He was Russia’s acting prime minister from April to December 1992. He also held prominent state government posts under President Boris Yeltsin.

Media reported earlier that Russia’s human rights ombudsperson Ella Pamfilova said she would propose depriving Gaidar’s Social Demand fund of receiving the presidential grant. Pamfilova, who also serves as chairperson of commission on allocating grants, added the decision is connected with Gaidar’s new position as Odessa region Deputy Governor.

The presidential grant was allocated to the project aimed at "protecting rights and freedoms of citizens in the public and social spheres." It includes creating a website, organizing events aimed at educating and training journalists working with civil issues. "The project will establish a positive social practice, increase the level of civic literacy among journalists and population," the draft proposal said. The presidential grant allocated to the project stood at around $49,500.

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