Russia Deems Transparency International ‘Undesirable’ Organization

updates with Transparency International Russia comment.

Russia has added global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International to its list of “undesirable” organizations, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Monday.

“Formally declaring itself an organization that fights corruption around the globe, it interferes in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, which threatens the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement published on its Telegram channel. 

Organizations labeled “undesirable” by the Russian authorities are legally compelled to dissolve themselves as legal entities in the country, and any individual who cooperates with a so-called “undesirable” group runs the risk of felony charges.

Transparency International Russia reacted to the news on Monday evening by tweeting: “We have familiarized ourselves with the decision published on the Prosecutor General’s Office website. We do not know what the reason for the decision was. We are currently reviewing the statement to determine what action we can take.”

The Russian chapter of the international anti-corruption NGO was deemed a “foreign agent” by the authorities in 2015 but managed to continue its operations in the country despite the legal restrictions that come with the designation. 

Transparency International ranked Russia on par with Mali in its most recent Corruption Perceptions Index,  the organization’s annual report that ranks countries by “perceived”  levels of public sector corruption.  

The Russian authorities have been gradually placing legal sanctions on the country’s dwindling number of civil society groups, opposition activists, and independent press outlets over the past decade, with the crackdown escalating drastically following the invasion of Ukraine.

The latest additions to Russia’s extensive list of “undesirable” organizations include the opposition platform Free Russia Forum and the popular independent news website Meduza.

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