Newspaper article International New York Times

MacArthur to Close Fund's Russia Offices

Newspaper article International New York Times

MacArthur to Close Fund's Russia Offices

Article excerpt

The Chicago-based foundation has awarded more than $173 million in grants in Russia since 1992, but has been put on a blacklist by Russia's Parliament.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is closing its offices in Russia after more than 20 years of grant-making here, becoming the latest casualty of new restrictions meant to limit the influence of foreign organizations in Russia.

The foundation's Russian employees and the civil-society organizations that receive its grants would be put at risk if it continued to operate in the country, the foundation said in a statement.

This month, Russian lawmakers published a preliminary list of 12 nongovernmental organizations that could be banned under a law signed in May by President Vladimir V. Putin. The MacArthur Foundation was on the list. The new law gives the Russian authorities power to shut down groups that are deemed to be "undesirable" and to pose a threat to Russia's security.

The new law and public statements made by Russian lawmakers "make it clear that the Russian government regards MacArthur's continued presence as unwelcome," the foundation said.

The group, based in Chicago, has awarded more than $173 million in grants in Russia since 1992 to finance activities related to higher education, human rights and nuclear nonproliferation. …

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