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US planned its interference in Russian domestic affairs back in 2017, says prosecution

In 2019, three foreign NGOs were listed as "undesirable" in Russia
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office
© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. The US authorities were already planning to meddle in the Russian domestic affairs back in 2017, head of the Legal Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office Artur Zavalunov told a working group meeting at the Federation Council (Russia’s upper chamber) on Thursday.

"We conducted a legal analysis of the Magnitsky Act adopted in 2018. In accordance with section 277 of this US federal law, I would like to draw attention to its provision, which envisages allocation of funds to a foundation aimed at countering Russia’s influence, which amounted to $250 million in 2018-2019. To employ cyber attacks in NATO and EU countries. In other words, back in 2017 the Magnitsky Act was applied because the US predicted that it would plan to support media outlets and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to meddle in our domestic affairs," he said.

Zavalunov pointed out that a decision was made to declare the activities of three NGOs undesirable in 2019 because their activities were aimed at interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs, particularly the election campaigns, and influencing elections — Free Russia Foundation (US), Ukrainian World Congress (Canada) and Atlantic Council of the United States (US).

"These institutes hold anti-Russian information campaigns, discredit our country, form public opinions suggesting that power change is needed, lay groundwork to destabilize social and political environment and escalate protest sentiments in society, carry out projects to undermine the state’s economic foundation and tailor Russia’s image of an aggressor state," he said.

On June 28, 2019, the Russian Ministry of Justice placed the US Free Russia Foundation on the list of undesirable organizations. On July 17, the Canadian Ukrainian World Congress also made the list. On July 29, the ministry added the Atlantic Council of the United States.