MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday labeled the U.S. research and analysis institute the Jamestown Foundation an “undesirable organisation”, potentially paving the way for the group to be banned in the country.
The General Prosecutor’s Office said it had studied the Washington-based group’s publications and concluded that they aimed to fan separatism in some Russian regions, particularly in the North Caucasus, and constituted a security threat.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, activities the Jamestown Foundation currently has in Russia. The group did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Russia has banned more than a dozen foreign groups under its legislation against undesirable organizations, adopted in 2015. Under the law, groups are typically first labeled undesirable and then formally banned by the Justice Ministry.
Western capitals have accused Russia’s authorities of using the legislation as well a separate law on “foreign agents” to isolate and put pressure on members of Russia’s civil society.
Russia denies that and says the laws are needed to protect its national security from outside meddling.
Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Nick Tattersall