Russia Cracks Down on Open Society

Russia Cracks Down on Open Society

LONDON—We are dismayed by the decision of Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office today to classify the Open Society Foundations as an “undesirable” organization.

Contrary to the Russian prosecutor’s allegations, the Open Society Foundations have, for more than a quarter-century, helped to strengthen the rule of law in Russia and protect the rights of all. In the past, our efforts have been welcomed by Russian officials and citizens, and we regret the changes that have led the government to reject our support to Russian civil society and ignore the aspirations of the Russian people.

Since 1987, Open Society has provided support to countless individuals and civil society organizations, including in the fields of science, education, and public health. Open Society has helped finance a network of internet centers in 33 universities around the country, helped Russian scholars to travel and study abroad, developed curricula for early childhood education, and created a network of contemporary art centers that are still in operation.

This record speaks for itself. We are honored to have worked alongside pioneering citizens, educators, and civil society organizations that embody Russian creativity, commitment, and hope.

“We are confident that this move is a temporary aberration; the aspirations of the Russian people for a better future cannot be suppressed and will ultimately succeed,” said George Soros, founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations.

In the face of the prosecutor’s decision to classify the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as “undesirable,” we are determined to continue to support those who seek our assistance in accordance with our mission and within the limits of the law.