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Academic Network Eastern Europe classified as an "undesirable foreign organisation" by Russia

Humboldt-Universität condemns this step as an attack on civil society's commitment to academic freedom

On 14 November 2023, the Russian General Prosecutor's Office placed the Academic Network of Eastern Europe (akno) on the list of undesirable foreign organisations in Russia. The Russian Ministry of Justice confirmed this classification on 4 December 2023. The association supports students and academics affected by political repression and receives funding from the Federal Foreign Office, among others. According to Russian legislation, akno is now prohibited from any activity in Russia. In addition, Russian citizens and Russian organisations are prohibited from participating in akno's activities under threat of punishment - even if this takes place outside Russia.

"The classification of akno as an undesirable organisation not only significantly hinders the work of this initiative, but also endangers Russian citizens who cooperate with it or receive help from it. We condemn this attack on civil society's commitment to academic freedom," says Julia von Blumenthal, President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. "Akno is an important initiative that makes a significant contribution to the preservation of independent and critical science in the post-Soviet region. We stand behind akno and its staff."

This text was translated from German using machine translation tools.