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U.S. Foundation Says Russia's 'Undesirable' Label Will Have No Impact On Its Operations

Jamestown Foundation President Glen Howard (file photo)
Jamestown Foundation President Glen Howard (file photo)

The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based global research and analysis group, says its operations will not be affected by Russia's decision to add it to its list of "undesirable organizations."

The foundation also said in a statement on April 9 that the decision will not have an impact on its reporting about the North Caucasus region.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said earlier this week that it had concluded that publications by the Jamestown Foundation were aimed at fanning separatism in some Russian regions, particularly in the North Caucasus, and constituted a security threat.

The move to place it on the list was seen as a potential precursor to banning the organization from Russia under a 2015 law that allows prosecutors to shut down "undesirable" organizations if they are deemed to be a threat to Russia's national interests.

But the Jamestown Foundation's president, Glen Howard, said in the statement that the group has no office or staff who work in Russia.

"Therefore, the issue of being declared 'undesirable' is moot to begin with and will have no impact on our operations or further reporting about the region," Howard said.

Placing the foundation on the "undesirable organization" list may have the unintended impact of boosting its visibility and global readership, he added.

The Jamestown Foundation’s statement said the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office singled out the organization’s coverage of the Circassian ethnic group in the North Caucasus.

Howard said the Jamestown Foundation is proud of its "important and unmatched analysis of the Circassian nationality."

The Jamestown Foundation was founded in 1984 to support Soviet defectors. On its website it describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, Eurasia, and the world of terrorism."

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