The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia has recognized the international non-governmental non-profit organization Greenpeace International as undesirable. This is stated in the press service of the supervisory authority. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the fund “poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation” and, in relation to Russia, its environmental activities “are in fact accompanied by the active promotion of a political position, attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the state and are aimed at undermining its economic foundations.”
“Often, the work of Greenpeace is connected with obstructing the implementation of Russian state programs by organizing information campaigns and mass public actions not coordinated with the authorities in order to form negative public opinion and prevent the implementation of infrastructure and energy projects beneficial to the country,” the report says. It is also noted that the fund finances the activities of Russian organizations recognized as foreign agents, and also “requires changes in Russian legislation to the detriment of the interests of our society and citizens.”
“Since the beginning of the special military operation of the Russian Federation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, Greenpeace activists have been engaged in anti-Russian propaganda, calling for further economic isolation of our country and tightening sanctions. The fund’s efforts are aimed at destabilizing the socio-political situation and attempting to change power in the country in an unconstitutional way,” the supervisory agency believes. Information about the recognition of Greenpeace International as an undesirable organization was sent to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.
Greenpeace announced the closure of its Russian branch. The decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the organization says in a statement to journalists, makes it illegal to continue any Greenpeace activity in Russia. “The Prosecutor General’s Office has decided to declare Greenpeace International an undesirable organization. If you think about this decision, it turns out that it is undesirable to protect nature in Russia,” the organization said in a statement.
The international organization appeared in 1971 in Canada. Greenpeace has worked in Russia for 30 years. As stated on the website of the organization itself, in Russia, with the active participation of Greenpeace, two nature reserves and four national parks have been created, eight territories have acquired the status of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites. Greenpeace sought the closure of a pulp and paper mill on Lake Baikal, and in 2007-2008 carried out a large-scale campaign to build facilities for the Sochi Olympics in the Caucasus Reserve. One of the main programs of Greenpeace is related to the conservation of forests.
In April 2022, the Russian Ecological Society (REO) asked the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to check Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for compliance with the status of a foreign agent. The agency refused to enter them into the relevant register, because, as stated in a letter signed by Dmitry Yermak, deputy director of the department for non-profit organizations of the Ministry of Justice, only Russian non-profit organizations, which Greenpeace and WWF are not, can be recognized as foreign agents – they belong to international non-governmental organizations.
On March 23, 2023, the Ministry of Justice nevertheless recognized WWF as a foreign agent. Greenpeace never received such a status. Even then, the head of the REO, Rashid Ismailov, said that the appeal to the Ministry of Justice was “the first step”: “Greenpeace and WWF use other forms of work in our country, formally avoiding the actions of the law on foreign agents, thereby indirectly confirming that their activities actually fall out of the field vision.” He promised that the REO would seek recognition of the foundations as undesirable organizations.
“First. They receive money and tasks from abroad. Secondly, they spread fakes about Russia’s environmental policy, discredit everything related to the environmental development of our country, and manipulate public opinion. And this is pure politics. In fact, they are a priori foreign agents, we have been talking about this for a long time, ”Ismailov commented on the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Sergei Tsyplenkov, Executive Director of Greenpeace Russia, is a member of the Presidium of the Presidential Human Rights Council.
Later, Tsyplenkov told Vedomosti that the Russian division of the organization would be forced to liquidate: “This follows from today’s legislation.”
Greenpeace International is not the first organization of its kind whose activities in Russia have been deemed undesirable. On April 18, the Prosecutor General’s Office listed the Norwegian-registered international non-governmental organization Miljøstiftelsen Bellona as such. She was also blamed for financing organizations-foreign agents, a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation, and – from the beginning of the special operation – participation “in the anti-Russian information campaign and discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”
The practice has developed in such a way that the inclusion of an international organization in the list of undesirable in Russia leads to the closure of the Russian office. After the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on March 6 declared Transparency International undesirable, the council of the Russian Transparency (recognized as a foreign agent) decided to liquidate the legal entity of the organization. Excluding Greenpeace International, there are 86 undesirable organizations on the list of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.