Prosecutors Ban Georges Soros Foundation As ‘Threat To Russian National Security’

he Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.

In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security.

They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organizations.

Prosecutors launched a probe into the activities of the two organizations – both sponsored by the well-known US financier George Soros In July this year, after Russian senators approved the so-called “patriotic stop-list” of 12 groups that required immediate attention over their supposed anti-Russian activities.

Other groups on the list included the National Endowment for Democracy; the International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the MacArthur Foundation and Freedom House.

In late July, the Russian Justice Ministry recognized the US National Endowment for Democracy as an undesirable group after prosecutors discovered the US NGO had spent millions on attempts to question the legitimacy of Russian elections and tarnish the prestige of national military service.

The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June this year. It requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to draw up an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and outlaw their activities. Once a group is recognized as undesirable, its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of any of its materials must be banned.

If the ban is violated, the personnel of the outlawed group and any Russian citizens who cooperate with them could face heavy fines, or even prison terms in the case of repeated or aggravated offences.

The Soros Foundation started working in Russia in the mid-1990s, but wrapped up its active operations in 2003.

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  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A spokesperson for the US State Department said Tuesday that Washington is “troubled” by Russia’s banning of the Open Society fund founded by US hedge fund billionaire George Soros.

    Spokesperson Mark Toner said the November 30 designation of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as so-called “undesirable” organizations “will only further restrict the work of civil society in Russia for the benefit of the Russian people.”

    A spokesperson with Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office said the activities of the two branches of Soros’s charity network represent a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution.

    “It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state,” a translated version of the press statement read.

    The Russian government hinted in July that it might ban the foundation along with a number of other “pro-democracy” organizations accused of launching “soft aggression” in the country.

    Soros also came under fire in his Hungarian homeland in October when state politicians accused him and his charity of supporting illegal migration. OSF had criticized Hungary’s’ treatment of migrants/refugees and Soros suggested migrants should receive $16,000 per year to help cover housing, healthcare and education costs.

    In a statement issued after the decision was announced, Toner said the move is yet another example of Russia’s “growing crackdown on independent voices and a deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world.”

    The Open Society Foundations said in a statement posted on their website that they were “dismayed” by Russia’s decision.

    ‘Soft aggression’ in Israel?

    The Open Society has also funded organizations in Israel that could be said to engage in “soft aggression” toward the state.

    A 2013 report by watchdog group.NGO-Monitor listed the many causes in Israel, or pertaining to Israel, that are funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

    Among the top beneficiaries of OSF funding is Human Rights Watch, which has been criticized for targeting, and falsely libeling, the state of Israel. Another is J Street, which describes itself as “pro-Israel” but has been termed anti-Israel by others for, among other things, welcoming proponents of a boycott on Israel at its national conference and honoring IDF soldiers who refused orders.

    Among the Israeli recipients is Adalah, which promotes the so-called “right of return” to Israel, which would allow millions of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during the War of Independence to claim Israel as their home (without reference to the many more Jews displaced during the fighting and in the years that followed).

    OSF also funds Al Haq, an Arab organization based in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah, north of Jerusalem. NGO-Monitor’s researchers described Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin as “a human rights campaigner by day and a terrorist by night,” who is among the senior members of the PFLP terrorist group.

    The extreme-left Israeli group B’Tselem also receives OSF funds. B’Tselem is notorious for publishing one-sided reports, and for inflating Arab civilian casualty figures.

    B’Tselem has listed OSF as a source of support, but OSF has not listed B’Tselem as a recipient, indicating that the grant may have come through an overseas entity.

    The report listed several other controversial, far-left Israeli groups that receive direct or indirect OSF Funding, including Rabbis for Human Rights, Ir Amim, Yesh Din and the New Israel Fund.

    Overall, information on Soros’ OSF “suggests a deliberate emphasis on influencing the highly complex Israeli-Palestinian arena,” NGO-Monitor concludes.

    “There is no comparable focus by Soros family and OSF gifts or his foundation network on promoting democracy or economic development in Palestinian society, nor on surrounding Arab societies,” it added.

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