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Washington voices concerns over Russia's move to declare US foundation 'undesirable'

The United States is concerned over Russia's decision to declare the US-Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF) as an "undesirable" organization, US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said on Friday.

The US ambassador said in a statement he was "deeply troubled" by the decision that was announced by Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office earlier on Friday. The organization "poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and security of the state," a spokesperson said.

"We see this move by the Russian government as another deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the world," Tefft said.

The decision to establish the foundation was announced by the former US President George Bush and Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in July 2006, he reminded.

The foundation's goal is to promote long-term economic development of Russia and strengthening ties between Russia and the US. Since 2006, the organization has been working in partnership with the Russian government and the leading Russian institutions in an effort to support the long-tern development of Russia's market economy and building strong ties between the people and the governments of the two countries.

The foundation's president, US citizen Mark Pomar, has been banned from entering Russia until 2025 for activity "aimed against Russia's interests," spokesperson Marina Gridneva said.

The US foundation has provided financial support to Russian NGOs carrying functions of a "foreign agent" and "participating in political processes in Russia," Gridneva said.The information on the decision has been sent to Russia's Justice Ministry for including the foundation to the list of foreign and international NGOs deemed undesirable in Russia.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Dec15]

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