German foundation expelled from Russia says it will continue democracy work

The Russian Ministry of Justice announced on Friday that it had revoked the registration of 15 foreign organizations, including nine German ones.

“The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung believes in dialogue within and between societies if we are to live in peace in Europe,” the foundation, which focuses on promoting democracy and social programs, said in a statement.

“With the withdrawal of the registration by the (Russian) Ministry of Justice, we cannot continue our work in Russia, but the work on Russia will continue,” he added.

The cancellations of registrations by the Russian Ministry of Justice also concern the Heinrich Boell Stiftung, affiliated with the Greens party of German Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung, close to the Liberal Democrats of German Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

The Heinrich Boell Stiftung said in a statement on Friday that it deeply regrets what it called a “further escalation” by Russian leaders and said it had taken steps to protect its staff and partners from lawsuits. .

The leadership of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung said over the weekend: “The new wave of expulsions of civil society organizations is another step from authoritarianism to totalitarianism.”

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Barbara Lewis)

James R. Rhodes