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09.09.2010

The Security Service has no interest in democracy ...

   

The Security Service [SBU] has not criticism of the activities of the International Renaissance Foundation [IRF]. On Wednesday the SBU Press Service announced that the information requested about projects financed by IRF was connected with the need to observe the law on the elections. IRF representatives have expressed bemusement at such an explanation, stressing that their Foundation does not finance political organizations.

The Head of the SBU Press Service, Marina Ostapenko stated that the SBU had not being checking the activities of the Foundation, but “ensuring observance of the Law on the Elections, specifically with regard to preventing any possibility of financing of Ukrainian political parties by foreign institutions”.

As reported already, on Tuesday Yevhen Bystrytsky, Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation stated that several civic organizations in the Kyiv region carrying out projects financed by IRF had been approached by the SBU. They had been asked for information about the aims and tasks of their projects, their financial component and assessment of their impact on the pre-election situation in Ukraine. 

The Head of the President’s Administration, Serhiy Lyovochkin, also reacted to the statement from the Head of IRF. He said that the actions of the SBU were a “one-off check which is already concluded”. “I do not expect any development of events on this issue. In my opinion, the incident is over and there is no need to make a big political story out of it”.

Yevhen Bystrytsky is staggered by the explanation from the SBU. “It is strange to hear statements from the SBU about the possibility of financing of Ukrainian parties by foreign institutions. We are not only an international, but a national foundation. We are registered in Ukraine, work in accordance with Ukrainian laws, and all decisions are taking by Ukrainian nationals”. Mr Bystrytsky stressed that IRF does not involve itself in politics. It is part of the network of Open Society Institutes created by George Soros. Its charter objective is to provide financial and organizational support for civic initiatives aimed at the development of democratic society in Ukraine.

Yevhen Bystrytsky calls the behaviour of the SBU a “worrying trend”. “The incident with the Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Nico Lange who was not allowed into the country (see khpg.org/index.php?id=1282727136 and the links below), preventive talks with the Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (Father) Boris Gudzyak show that the SBU is helping those in power to create a managed democracy”.

From the report by Artem Skoropadsky at http://www.kommersant.ua/doc.html?docId=1500416

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