1 Apr 2019 14:48

Otkrytaya Rossia to notify Prosecutor General's Office of self-liquidation this week - spokesperson

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - The non-governmental organization Otkrytaya Rossia will hand notification of its self-liquidation to the Prosecutor General's Office later this week, Otkrytaya Rossia spokesperson Natalya Gryaznevich told Interfax on Monday.

"We'll hand notification regarding the NGO's liquidation to the prosecutors this week," Gryaznevich said.

The organization has already been liquidated in line with a decision made at its conference in Riga on March 30, regarding which the Prosecutor General's Office has to be notified formally, she said.

Otkrytaya Rossia held its inaugural conference in Helsinki on November 12-13, 2016. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was then elected the organization's chairman for six months. Khodorkovsky later said he had no plans to run for re-election as chairman, but would remain the organization's founder. Andrei Pivovarov led Otkrytaya Rossia in 2018.

The Prosecutor General's Office decided on April 26, 2017 that the activities of a number of foreign NGOs, such as Open Russia (the UK), the Institute of Modern Russia (the U.S.), and the network movement Otkrytaya Rossia (the UK) be recognized as undesirable in Russia.

Former Otkrytaya Rossia Chairman Alexander Solovyov earlier told Interfax that the Prosecutor General's Office's report contained information on organizations that had no relation to the network movement Otkrytaya Rossia.

A criminal case was opened on January 21, 2019 against Anastasia Shevchenko, a board member of Otkrytaya Rossiya, on charges of involvement in activities of an undesirable organization, which was the first instance a prosecution on such a count in Russia.

The same day, the homes of eight activists of the movement living in three cities; Rostov-on-Don, Kazan and Ulyanovsk, were searched. A court in Rostov-on-Don put Shevchenko under house arrest.

In addition, dozens of administrative cases have been opened against activists of the movement over the past two years on grounds of membership of an undesirable organization.