Leonid Slutsky: “The Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots (KSORS) in the United States announced a forced suspension of activities due to an investigation by the American special services. The Council reported outrageous facts. Over the past year, at least three hundred Russian compatriots in the United States, from students to retirees, have been subjected to FBI investigations.
This decision was obviously the result of a “witch hunt”. In fact, we see that for American, so to speak, law enforcement agencies, the very involvement in the Russian community in the United States is a reason for checks and investigations.
Thus, according to KSORS, some of its members and representatives of our community have become involved in the investigation “on violations of the laws on foreign agents.” American investigators were interested in the contacts of compatriots with, it’s incomprehensible, representatives of the Russian diplomatic mission in the United States, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Rossotrudnichestvo, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the Moscow Government, the Roscongress Foundation, the Russian Geographical Society and the coordinators of the Immortal Regiment movement. In other words, we are talking about organizations whose task is to maintain cultural ties, historical memory, including among the children of our compatriots. And of course, they have every right to maintain contact with the Russian Embassy and Russian government agencies, despite the fact that these contacts are of a humanitarian nature.
Once again, I will draw your attention to the fact that the reason for the activity of the special services was allegedly the law on foreign agents. Its repeated application in relation to Russians and our compatriots does not at all prevent Washington from constantly criticizing Moscow for introducing a legislative act similar in name, although Russian legislation in this area is many times softer and concerns those who receive funding from abroad. KSORS does not distribute grants. Moreover, according to the Daily beast portal, the investigation does not exclude that KSORS can be used by Russia as a “soft power” to spread influence. Now this is a more serious diagnosis. The United States itself does not hesitate to send grants all over the world, create endless “funds to support democracy”, which are then actively used to sway the situation for changing “unwanted” regimes. But this is “different” …
The degree of Russophobia in the United States seems to be starting to break through the upper marks. The humanitarian field, people-to-people contacts, culture must remain outside politics. And even more so – outside the scope of criminal prosecution.
We condemn the pressure on the Russian community and we will closely monitor the situation.”