Russian prosecutors brand US group Pacific Environment ‘undesirable organization’
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has included US NGO Pacific Environment (PERC) on a list of undesirable foreign organizations after determining the group’s work can threaten Russia’s security and constitutional order.
“After studying some materials it had received the Prosecutor General’s Office on August 24 decided to recognize as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation, the work of foreign non-government organization Pacific Environment (PERC) from the USA,” chief spokesman for the agency, Aleksandr Kurennoy, was quoted as saying by TASS on Friday.
“It has been established that the work of this organization creates a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and the security of the Russian state,” the official added. The order to put the group on the list of undesirable organizations will now be forwarded to the Justice Ministry where it needs to be registered to come into force.
Founded in 1987, the Pacific Environment group states its primary objective as protecting the living environment of the Pacific Rim. In Russia, its activists have instigated public opposition to several major mining and energy projects in Siberia and the Far East.
Russia introduced the law on undesirable foreign organizations in mid-2015. According to this act the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry have the powers to create a list of “undesirable foreign organizations,” making the activities of such groups in Russia illegal. Violations of this law are punished by civil penalties, but repeated and aggravated offenses can cause criminal prosecution and carry prison sentences of up to six years.
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