MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian government pressed its crackdown against critical voices on Monday by branding the global anti-corruption group Transparency International as “undesirable,” effectively banning it from operating in the country.
The Russian prosecutor’s office charged that while “formally acting as an organization fighting corruption around the world, it interferes in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, which poses a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation.”
Daniel Eriksson, CEO of Berlin-based Transparency International, said in a statement: “Despite these allegations, Transparency International will continue to shine a light on corruption and kleptocracy in Russia and everywhere else to promote transparency, accountability, integrity, and to hold power to account.”
The group is best known for an annual index ranking countries, including Russia, on their degree of corruption.
Since launching its military operation in Ukraine last February, the Russian government has intensified its crackdown on dissent and toughened legislation to muzzle critical voices. The authorities have methodically targeted people and organizations critical of the Kremlin, branding many as “foreign agents” and declaring some as “undesirable.”