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NGOs run by US State Department most active in Russia — top prosecutor

Russia’s authorities have checked 73 organizations, and 10 of them were labeled undesirable

MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Non-governmental organizations controlled by the US State Department are most actively operating in Russia, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has said.

"The NGOs controlled by the State Department of the United States have been among the most active ones," Chaika told the parliament during a discussion on preventing interference in Russia’s domestic affairs.

Russia’s authorities have checked 73 organizations, and 10 of them were labeled undesirable, while checks against 22 of them are ongoing, he said. Some NGOs are taking steps to influence Russia’s legislative activity.

According to the top prosecutor, the activity of almost 500 NGOs funded from abroad has been scrutinized. "Even after the law entered into force many of them vehemently refused to register as foreign agents and acted uncontrollably and non-transparently, influencing the decisions of authorities in the interests of their foreign sponsors," he said. The prosecutor noted that in some cases, the organizations even violated the rules of international law, since they were being financed directly by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

In particular, the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law jointly with economic universities fulfilled an educational program aimed at selecting gifted young people and sending them for internship to the United States. "They impose a viewpoint on the students that Russia’s economic and political life is inferior to the US model," he said.

The Open Russia NGO, founded by exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, financed the activity of election campaign of Russian opposition groups through figureheads and also took part in unauthorized social and political events. Last year, the group allocated more than $1 mln for this purpose, he said.