Washington, D.C. – In a statement earlier today, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation announced that the International Republican Institute (IRI) has been designated as an “undesirable organization.” In response, IRI issued the following statement:
“This move really says more about Vladimir Putin than it does about IRI. It’s further proof that he fears democracy and allowing his people to have an opportunity to shape their own future.
“For 33 years, IRI has worked around the world with citizens, civil society groups and political leaders to advance democracy and human dignity. We’ve helped women and members of marginalized communities take their rightful place in the decision-making process of their societies. We simply believe, as Ronald Reagan said three decades ago, that ‘all people should have the freedom to determine their own destiny.’
“Putin’s efforts to intimidate those who support democracy and human liberty have grown so prolific that IRI created a transatlantic program dedicated to countering his propaganda called the Beacon Project. Clearly this project and our ongoing support of the Russian people’s demands for freedom, liberty and representative government makes President Putin nervous. This ‘undesirable’ designation is simply confirmation of a job well done. It’s a job we will pursue unwaveringly.”Top