In July of this year, Russian prosecutors launched a probe into the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation - both sponsored by U.S. billionaire George Soros. In a statement released today, prosecutors called the groups' activities a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security. They added that the Justice Ministry would add the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organizations.
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations was enacted 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 to outlaw their activities. Being labeled "undesirable" means that an organization's assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed, and the distribution of any of its materials must be banned. Violators of the ban could incur heavy fines or even prison terms in the case of repeat offences.
Russian senators approved a “patriotic stop-list” of 12 groups that required immediate attention over anti-Russian activities - among them, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, and Freedom House. Russian prosecutors also recognized the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy as undesirable after discovering that the NGO had spent millions on attempts to question the legitimacy of Russian elections and tarnish the prestige of national military service.
Soros banned as a "threat to the foundations of Constitutional order and national security," eh? Maybe Russia's on to something.