Friday, 31 July 2015
The National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) duplicitous mission statement indicates a “dedicat(ion) to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.”
Its practices are polar opposite – a State Department-funded agency created to undermine democracy wherever it exists.
It’s a global mischief-maker – a rogue agency financing anti-democratic groups and initiatives in scores of countries worldwide. Its objective is regime change – notably in independent nations like Russia. It subversively interferes in its electoral practices among other ways of targeting its sovereignty.
Moscow’s mid-year 2015 enacted Law on Undesirable Organizations justifiably targets foreign organizations posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability or the security of the Russian state” – subversive groups no governments should tolerate.
On July 28, Russian Deputy Chief Prosecutor Vladimir Malinovsky “signed a decree recognizing the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, a foreign non-commercial organization, as undesirable in the territory of Russia in compliance with a law on measures of impacting people linked to the violation of basic human rights and freedoms and the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Russia.”
The document was sent to Russia’s Justice Ministry – including NED in its register of undesirable foreign organizations.
Action against the organization was long overdue along with targeting other US subversive ones. More on them below. Washington works aggressively against Russian interests – a longstanding campaign to marginalize, contain, weaken and isolate Moscow, with internal subversion one of many methods used.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called the undesirable organizations law “without any question a step in the right direction.” Many so-called NGOs (like NED) are agents of foreign governments.
In late May, Putin signed the new measure into law. It lets the Prosecutor General’s Office and Foreign Ministry declare activities of “undesirable foreign organizations” illegal – ones posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”
Non-compliance is punishable by administrative penalties. Repeated violations mandate imprisonment for up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations working with banned groups face fines only.
Russia’s 2012 Foreign Agents Law requires NGOs engaged in political activities to register as foreign agents or face stiff fines. They’re prohibited from supporting political parties. They’re free to engage in other activities.
NED is a longstanding political meddler. It’s named in a Russian upper house Federation Council “patriotic stop-list” – groups considered potentially threatening national security.
Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said the list was created out of concern about foreign organizations operating subversively in Russia.
A Federation Council statement said “(t)oday Russia faces its strongest attack in the past 25 years, targeting its national interests, values and institutes.”
“Its main goal is to influence the internal political situation in the country, undermine the patriotic unity of our people, undermine the integration processes within the CIS space and force our country into geopolitical isolation.”
Groups included in the Federation Council’s stop-list are “known for their anti-Russian bias.” They include:
NED, George Soros’ Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Freedom House; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Polish-based Education for Democracy Foundation, East European Democratic Center, Ukrainian World Congress, Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, and Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights.
Nations must protect themselves against foreign subversion without violating international rule of law principles. In enacting the Law on Undesirable Organizations and Foreign Agents Law, Russia acted responsibly.
The bizarre attempt to have me indicted me on… treason charges, allegedly for conspiring to push Greece out of the Eurozone, reflects something much broader.
It reflects a determined effort to de-legitimise our five-month long (25th January to 5th July 2015) negotiation with a troika incensed that we had the audacity to dispute the wisdom and efficacy of its failed program for Greece.
The aim of my self-styled persecutors is to characterise our defiant negotiating stance as an aberration, an error or, even better from the perspective of Greece’s troika-friendly oligarchic establishment, as a ‘crime’ against Greece’s national interest.
My dastardly ‘crime’ was that, expressing the collective will of our government, I personified the sins of:
- Facing down the Eurogroup’s leaders as an equal that has the right to say ‘NO’ and to present powerful analytical reasons for rebuffing the catastrophic illogicality of huge loans to an insolvent state in condirion of self-defeating austerity
- Demonstrating that one can be a committed Europeanist, strive to keep one’s nation in the Eurozone, and, at the very same time, reject Eurogroup policies which damage Europe, deconstruct the euro and, crucially, trap one’s country in austerity-driven debt-bondage
- Planning for contingencies that leading Eurogroup colleagues, and high ranking troika officials, were threatening me with in face-to-face discussions
- Unveiling how previous Greek governments turned crucial government departments, such as the General Secretariat of Public Revenues and the Hellenic Statistical Office, into departments effectively controlled by the troika and reliably pressed into the service of undermining the elected government.
It is amply clear that the Greek government has a duty to recover national and democratic sovereignty over all departments of state, and in particular those of the Finance Ministry. If it does not, it will continue to forfeit the instruments of policy making that voters expect it to utilise in pursuit of the mandate they bestowed upon it.
In my ministerial endeavours, my team and I devised innovative methods for developing the Finance Ministry’s tools to deal efficiently with the troika-induced liquidity crunch while recouping executive powers previously usurped by the troika with the consent of previous governments.
Instead of indicting, and persecuting, those who, to this day, function within the public sector as the troika’s minions and lieutenants (while receiving their substantial salaries from the long-suffering Greek taxpayers), politicians and parties whom the electorate condemned for their efforts to turn Greece into a protectorate are now persecuting me, aided and abetted by the oligarchs’ media. I wear their accusations as badges of honour.
The proud and honest negotiation that the SYRIZA government conducted from the first day we were elected has already changed Europe’s public debates for the better. The debate about the democratic deficit afflicting the Eurozone is now unstoppable. Alas, the troika’s domestic cheerleaders do not seem able to bear this historic success. Their efforts to criminalise it will crash on the same shoals that wrecked their blatant propaganda campaign against the ‘No’ vote in the 5th July referendum: the great majority of the fearless Greek people.
National affairs editor of The Age