Staunton, June 28 – The Russian government has shut down all the operations of SIDA, Sweden’s International Development Agency, in Russia after Stockholm announced that it was seeking to join NATO and cancelled programs in the Russian Federation involving state agencies there.
The Russian foreign ministry said that SIDA must cease its democracy and human rights promotion efforts within Russia immediately and that any Swedish official who engages in such work in the future will be declared persona non grata and expelled from the country (thebarentsobserver.com/ru/demokraticheskoe-obshchestvo/2022/07/rossiya-vygonyaet-shvedskoe-agentstvo-mezhdunarodnogo-razvitiya).
The Russian foreign ministry said that SIDA is seeking to “destabilize Russian society” and that such actions not only are a violation of international law but something that Moscow will not tolerate (mid.ru/ru/press_service/spokesman/official_statement/1819696/).
Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation, said that it is not for Moscow to decide on how Sweden promotes human rights and that what Moscow has done in this case simply provides additional evidence of “the negative trend in human rights and freedoms in Russia” (dn.se/varlden/ryssland-sida-och-svenska-institutet-maste-upphora-med-verksamheten/).
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