NEW YORK, July 22. /TASS/. The US MacArthur Foundation is closing its branch office in Moscow. According to a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, the move stems from the foundation’s inclusion on the patriotic "stop-list" of the Russian Federation Council.
"It is with regret, but with confidence that it is the right decision, that we share the news that the MacArthur Foundation will close its branch office in Moscow," the statement says.
"The recent passage and implementation of several laws in Russia make it all but impossible for international foundations to operate effectively and support worthy civil society organizations in that country. These laws, public statements by Russian legislators, and the vote by the Federation Council to include MacArthur on a ‘patriotic stop-list’ of organizations recommended for designation as ‘undesirable’ make it clear that the Russian government regards MacArthur’s continued presence as unwelcome," it says.
The Federation Council earlier proposed the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice "to consider a patriotic ‘stop-list’ including a number of foreign or international NGOs notorious for their anti-Russian slant" with a view to extending to them the existing provisions of the law on undesirable organizations. According to members of the upper house of the Russian parliament, among such organizations are the Soros Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the MacArthur Foundation. Head of the Federation Council Defence and Security Committee Viktor Ozerov noted that this "stop-list" was not directed against the international and foreign organizations that came to Russia "with clear conscience".