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Russia Blacklists U.S.-Based Environmental Group

A California-based environmental organization was placed on Russia's "undesirable" blacklist, after Moscow said on August 24 that the group poses a threat to "Russia's state security."

The Pacific Environment (PERC) group is the 15th organization to be blacklisted, but it is the first environmental group to be placed on the "undesirables" law targeting foreign entities adopted in 2015.

The NGO works to protect Pacific Rim communities and operates in the United States as well as Asian and Arctic regions, its website says.

Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement that it had been found to "pose a threat to the constitutional foundations of Russia and state security."

"Following the results of the inspection of material received by the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office, it was decided to declare PERC, a foreign nongovernmental organization, to be undesirable on Russian territory," Aleksandr Kurennoi, a spokesman for the office, told Russian news agency Interfax.

The blacklist has so far targeted mainly U.S. democracy-promoting organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, or groups controlled by figures like George Soros and Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment about specific current activities in Russia.

A Russian activist said he was shocked by the news as the NGO had stopped supporting projects in Russia long ago. "It's absurd," said Mikhail Kreindlin, an employee of Greenpeace Russia.

Entities put on the "undesirable" list are banned from issuing any publications in Russia and risk having their bank accounts blocked, while people cooperating with the "undesirables" could be hit with fines, pirson sentences, and Russian entry bans.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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