German NGOs boycott ‘Petersburg Dialogue’
A number of prominent German NGOs including the Heinrich Böll Foundation; Amnesty International and Greenpeace are not attending the annual ‘Petersburg Dialogue’ Forum because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine and repression against civic organizations in Russia.
The meeting to be held in Sochi at the end of October is supposed to be a forum between members of civil society in Russia and Germany. The refusal to participate of prominent NGOs is therefore a strong statement.
The above-mentioned NGOs, together with ‘German-Russian Exchange’ and “European Exchange’, wrote a collective letter published by Der Tagespiegel. This explains that the NGOs do not wish to take part in building Potemkin villages in Sochi and demands radical reform of ‘Petersburg Dialogue’. After receiving the letter, the German government tried to postpone the forum, however received the clear message from Russia that the forum had to go as scheduled or that there would be no ‘Petersburg Dialogue’ at all.
From the report at Deutsche Welle’s Russian Service