Russia designates Riga-based news outlet Meduza as "undesirable organization"

  • 2023-01-26
  • LETA/BBC/TBT Staff

RIGA - Russian authorities have designated Riga-based Russian independent news outlet Meduza as "undesirable organization". 

"A decision has been taken to designate operation of foreign nongovernment organization SIA Medusa Project, Republic of Latvia, as undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation," the Russian Prosecutor General's Office says in a statement. 

According to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, the news outlet's activities "pose threats to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation". 

According to Russian laws, an organization designated as undesirable is obliged to terminate operations in Russia - its assets and properties in Russia are blocked and the organization is not allowed to open branches in Russia. 

Persons who cooperate with such blacklisted organizations can face criminal prosecution in Russia. Russian citizens are expressly prohibited from participating in blacklisted organizations' work, including abroad, and a violation of the ban can be punished with a prison sentence of up to four years. Financing of undesirable organizations is also a criminal offense in Russia, punishable with up to five years in prison.

Unlike organizations designated by Russian authorities as "foreign agents", those designated as "undesirable" are completely banned from any activity in Russia. 

Meduza was designated a "foreign agent" in Russia in April 2021. 

Meduza (SIA Medusa Project) was registered as a legal entity in Latvia in 2014.