Ambassador Statement on the Russian Government’s Decision to Designate the U.S.-Russia Foundation as a so-called “Undesirable” Foreign Organization

We are deeply troubled by the Russian Government’s decision to designate the U.S.-Russia Foundation as a so-called “undesirable” foreign organization. Presidents Bush and Putin jointly announced at the G-8 Summit on July 15, 2006 their intention to establish the foundation with the twin goal of promoting long-term economic development in Russia and strengthening ties between the United States and Russia. Since 2006, the foundation has worked in partnership with the Russian government and leading Russian institutions to support the long-term development of Russia’s market economy and to build strong ties between the people and governments of our two nations.

We see this move by the Russian government as another deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world. It is our strong belief that Russians, like people everywhere, deserve an open marketplace of ideas and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution. We urge the Government of Russia to uphold its international obligations and commitments to respect the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, and the rule of law.