Washington, DC - We regret the Russian Government’s decision to designate the U.S.-Russia Foundation as a so-called “undesirable” foreign organization. Ever since President Bush and President Putin announced their intent to establish the Foundation at the St. Petersburg G8 Summit in 2006, the Foundation has worked in partnership with the Russian Government and prominent Russian institutions to carry out its mission to promote long-term economic development and rule of law in Russia and to strengthen ties between our two countries.

We reject the contention that the Foundation’s activities constitute a threat to Russia’s security. On the contrary, this designation is another deliberate step to further isolate the Russian people from the rest of the world. We call on the Government of Russia to uphold its international obligations and commitments to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to freedom of association, and to cease restrictions on the work of civil society organizations in Russia.