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Greenpeace to close in Russia after its activities are deemed ‘undesirable’

<i>MAXIM SHEMETOV/X90156/REUTERS</i><br/>The office of the Russian branch of environmental group Greenpeace in Moscow on May 19.
The office of the Russian branch of environmental group Greenpeace in Moscow on May 19.

By Anna Chernova and Alex Hardie, CNN

(CNN) — The Russian branch of Greenpeace International has been forced to shut down after officials in the country declared the organization’s activities as “undesirable.”

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said in a Telegram statement Friday that it decided to “recognize Greenpeace’s activities as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation,” and claimed that the activities of Greenpeace International “represent a threat to the fundamental constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation.”

Greenpeace International and its branch in Russia condemned the decision in two statements released Friday.

“We express our categorical disagreement with the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office. This decision makes it illegal for any Greenpeace activity to continue in Russia. Therefore, the Russian branch of Greenpeace will be forced to close,” Greenpeace Russia’s statement said.

Greenpeace International also slammed the decision, saying “this misguided decision effectively indicates that it is ‘undesirable’ to protect nature in Russia.”

“It’s clear that Greenpeace International – and subsequently Greenpeace Russia – was labeled undesirable because we do not allow disastrous plans threatening nature to be carried out,” Greenpeace International’s statement added.

Dozens of organizations have been classified as “undesirable” by Russian authorities since 2015, according to Reuters, a designation which makes it effectively impossible for them to operate.

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