October 09, 2012 23:41
Moscow Helsinki Group head criticizes Russia's decision to tell UNICEF to close programs
MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) - Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alexeyeva sees a dangerous trend in the fact that the UN International Children's Fund (UNICEF) will have to close all its projects in Russia, something that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has already done.
The Russian Foreign Ministry informed Interfax earlier on Tuesday that Russia had told UNICEF to gradually phase out its projects by December 31, 2012 in light of "the growing economic and donor potential in Russia."
"These funds have invested money in Russia where our government does not wish to invest, namely in science, education, art, and civil society. Now all this is being closed," Alexeyeva told Interfax on Tuesday.
"Why do these funds work in all countries, even though there are local government and private funds there, and why can it not be so here?" she said.
"I am sure that there is an impracticable intention to lower an iron curtain over this country and isolate it from the rest of the world," she said.
Alexeyeva doubted that the state will continue to finance projects that have received donations from UNICEF.
"Will the money that Russia contributes to UNICEF as a donor be directed to the areas where UNICEF invests in our country? I really doubt this," Alexeyeva said.
One of the projects that UNICEF has pursued through partner NGOs is anti-mine safety programs in the North Caucasus.
USAID stopped its operations in Russia on October 1. The Moscow Helsinki Group, the Memorial human rights organization, and the Golos association specializing in election monitoring received grants from USAID.
(Our editorial staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
May 18, 2013
Mistral-class Sevastopol helicopter carrier to serve as flagship of Russia's naval group in Mediterranean - source
RUSSIA AND FSU GENERAL NEWS
Participants in Party of Regions-sponsored rally in Kyiv to receive compensation from party coffers
May 17, 2013
Batkivshchina activists give Ukrainian authorities 5,000 signatures for Tymoshenko's release
Fewer than 5% of Ukrainians favor same-sex marriage - study
Saakashvili condemns Friday clashes in Tbilisi
All expenditures adopted in three-year budget will be fully financed - finance minister
Russia, EU will switch to visa-free travel by end of decade
Tymoshenko accuses Ukrainian administration of creating new "iron curtain"
Georgian patriarch calls on supporters, opponents of gay movement to pray for each other
Gang of abductors, extortionists detained in Abkhazia
Ukraine's decision to cancel visas for U.S., EU was naive - PM Azarov
EU structures should put pressure on Latvia, Estonia to ensure observance of lawful interest of Russian-speaking people - Russian Foreign Ministry
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has given an interview to Interfax ahead of his visit to Russia on May 16-19 in which he speaks about the goals of his visit, pressing tasks that the UN face, the organization‘s reform, as well as topical issues on the international agenda, including situation in Syria and the Middle East settlement.
Deputy NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, who is visiting Moscow for an informal conference of former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and Russian ambassador to the United States, has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about NATO-Russia cooperation, as well as pressing issues on the international agenda, such as the missile defense issue, North Korea, Syria and Afghanistan.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has given an interview to Interfax‘ journalist Olga Golovanova ahead of the 2+2 meeting slated for March 13 in London, on which he speaks about the agenda of the upcoming 2+2 talks, the whole range of British-Russian relations, including human rights, as well as pressing international issues notably Syria.