In a recent statement, the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation said that the activity of the US-based non-governmental organization National Endowment for Democracy in Russia was undesirable. Officials with the US State Department released predictable comments after the decision was announced.
The State Department said that Russia's latest move imposed restrictions on the development of the civil society in Russia.
In a nutshell - the United States is concerned about Russia's decision to include the National Endowment for Democracy on the list of "unwanted" organizations. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the latest decision was another example of the offensive of the Russian government on independent voices. According to the US official, the Russian government has taken yet another step to isolate Russian citizens from the world.
On July 28, Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation stated that the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy were undesirable on the territory of Russia. In accordance with requirements of the law, the decision was sent to the Ministry of Justice to include the organization on the corresponding list.
The reason for the move was the fact that NED, using Russian commercial and non-profit organizations, was participating in the work to discredit the results of election campaigns and organize political actions to show influence on the decision made by the Russian authorities. In addition, NED was involved in a process to vilify military service in the Russian Armed Forces.
The amount of money that was spent on the above-mentioned purposes in 2013-2014 reached about $5.2 million.
Noteworthy, one of NED's founders, Allen Weinstein, said in 1991 that most of NED's work used to be the job of the CIA.
Also read: How foreign NGOs destroy Russia
In 2011, WikiLeaks published data showing that NED was supporting Arab youth movements that later took an active part in string of revolutions in the Middle East in 2011.
Not surprisingly, Russia's Federation Council added the National Endowment for Democracy foundation on the "patriotic stop list" of 12 international non-profit organizations in early July. As officials in the upper house said, the activities of all organizations on the list were "clearly political in nature."
It goes without saying that representatives of the Russian opposition are very concerned about another "infringement of democracy." They appeal to "cultural and social programs of NED" saying that NED had stopped working in Russia. Indeed, the foundation no longer operates in Russia, although opposition NGOs and human rights activists continued to receive money from the West.
It is worth mentioning here that in 2014, the US government assigned more than $9 million for the "development of democracy in Russia." The work was entrusted to the National Endowment for Democracy, the vice-president of which is Nadia Diuk, a daughter of UPA soldier Petro Diuk.
NED is a foundation established by the US Congress in 1983 with the budget of the United States being the main source of funding. In other words, NED is "not entirely an NGO."