Press release on the Russian authorities’ decision to list the Center for Liberal Modernity as an “undesirable foreign organization”
Statement by Ralf Fücks und Marieluise Beck:
The Russian Prosecutor General’s decision to brandmark the Center for Liberal Modernity together with the German-Russian Exchange (DRA) and a Russian exile organization as “undesirable foreign organizations” is an act of political lawlessness.
Its aim is to terminate our cooperation with Russian partners with the stroke of a pen. As a consequence, any Russian citizen working with us in any capacity risks criminal persecution.
We never disguised our critical position versus the Putin-Regime which made us focus on cooperation with Russian civil society and engaging in the debate about adequate policies vis a vis Russia in both Germany and the EU. Our dream (for the future) is a democratic and European Russia.
The Kremlin aims to divide German NGOs, foundations and think tanks into desirable and undesirable organizations. Among those already listed as undesirable are European Platform for Democratic Elections, the German Marshall Fund, the Prague Civil Society Center, the Open Society Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the foundations of the Democrat and Republican parties in the US, the Atlantic Council and the Council of Europe’s Association of Schools of Political Studies.
Those who criticize the Kremlin risk being forced out of the country. An intended consequence of this is the infringement of free speech in the West with regard to critical reporting and debate about Russia. At the same time Russian civil society is deprived of political and financial support from the West. More than 160 Russian organizations have already been classified as “foreign agents”.
We hope that the German government and all friends of Russia will not accept this divide and rule policy and will press Russian authorities to revoke their decision. We thank Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for his clear words.
Dialogue with a gag order is a farcical dialogue.