Russian authorities say the activities of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum are “undesirable”

Russian authorities say the activities of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum are “undesirable”


EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is a permanent platform for cooperation and coordination of non-governmental organisations from Russia and the European Union. The Forum aims to strengthen the cooperation between civil society organisations and promote values such as pluralist democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and social justice.

However, the Russian authorities decided to stop its activities. On 11 April 2023, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation declared the Forum an “undesirable organization”.

“We find that this decision is neither in line with the Russian Constitution nor does it correspond to international legal standards,” stated the Board of the Forum. “The legislation stigmatising and criminalising civil society must be repealed. Civil society cooperation beyond borders and people-to-people contacts can only be desirable. However, under the current circumstances, we do not have any other choice than to discontinue cooperation with our partners from Russia.”

The European Union strongly condemns the decision of the Russian authorities to declare the activities of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum as “undesirable”.

“This decision further intensifies the crackdown on independent civil society and media in Russia, taking place against the backdrop of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” stated the High Representative Josep Borrell.

“Since 2011, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum brings together Russian and European non-governmental organisations with shared civic values. It is a valuable bridge linking independent Russian civil society actors with European counterparts. The European Union, once again, urges the Russian authorities to repeal the current legislation on the so-called “undesirable organisations” and “foreign agents”, which severely restricts the freedoms of association and opinion, in order to bring Russian legislation in line with Russia’s international obligations,” continued Josep Borrell.

“The European Union stands in solidarity with Russian citizens who are prevented from exercising their human rights. We will continue to support the important work of Russian civil society organisations, human rights defenders, and independent media and journalists inside and outside Russia.”

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