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Kremlin: Transparency International is a "foreign agent"

April 8, 2015

The international graft watchdog has been forced by the Russian government to register as a foreign agent. The organization has sworn to continue its fight against corruption as long as possible.

Logo Transparency International

The Berlin-based anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has been classified as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. The Ministry of Justice said late Tuesday the decision was made after a review by the public prosecutor.

Denis Primakov, a lawyer at Transparency International's Moscow office, said he was not privy to the "details" of the decision, but that his group would continue their work in Russia for as long as they possibly could. The organization's Russian director, Anton Pominov, vowed to fight the ruling

TI is known for its annual reports on bribery, corruption and press freedom. The well-regarded think tank began in Germany in 1993 and has had a Russian branch since 1999. In 2014, TI ranked Russia 136th out of 175 countries on its Corruption Perceptions Index, indicating a high level of graft.

Transparency International Russia has fought to curb corruption in Russia and introduce the necessary structures needed to reduce it.

In Russia, politically active organizations, whether they are financed in part or in full by foreign funds, must be classified as "foreign agents" following a 2012 law. As a result of this hotly debated statute, Russia's largest human rights organization, Memorial, as well as the Andrei Sakharov Center, named for the famed Soviet dissident, have found themselves in legal difficulties.

es/jil (AFP, dpa)

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