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Russian Justice Ministry source explains recognizing Levada-Center NGO a "foreign agent"

The source claims the non-commercial organization "had received most of its foreign financing from the United States"
Russian Justice Ministry Yuri Mashkov/ITAR-TASS
Russian Justice Ministry
© Yuri Mashkov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 6 /TASS/. The Russian Justice Ministry has explained why it has included the autonomous non-profit organization "The Analytical Center of Yuri Levada" in its list of non-commercial organizations, which perform the functions of foreign agents.

A Justice Ministry source told TASS that a random check carried out by the ministry’s Moscow branch had established that the Levada Center was financed by foreign sources and was involved in political activities in the territory of Russia in the interests of its foreign sponsors. The center prepares and distributes by means of modern information technologies their opinion on decisions passed by Russian bodies of state power and their policy and forms socio-political views and convictions.

"The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada …had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense," the source said.

The Russian Justice Ministry clarified that the center’s foreign finance sources included Ipsos Mori UK Ltd (Britain); the Moscow subsidiary of the "Jones Day Limited Partnership (USA); Fafo Ais As (Norway); Fernland Holdings Ltd (Switzerland); Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit GNBH (Germany), Gallup Inc. (USA); Viesoji Istaiga (Lithuania); University of Wisconsin Madison (USA); Regents of University of Colorado (USA): Columbia University (USA) and The George Washington University (USA).

According to the Russian Justice Ministry, a non-commercial organization, which performs the functions of a foreign agent, is a Russian non-profit organization which receives funds and other property from foreign countries and their state bodies; as well as from international and foreign organizations; foreign citizens and persons without citizenship; it also takes part, including in the interests of foreign sources, in political activities in the territory of Russia.

"The signs of a non-commercial organization performing the functions of a foreign agent can be revealed by the Russian Justice Ministry, which exercises state federal control over the activities of non-commercial organizations as well as through supervision by the public prosecutor," the Russian Justice Ministry explained.