Ecology NGO Declared ‘Foreign Agent’ Over Grant From Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Sakhalin Environment Watch, an NGO devoted to protecting the nature of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in Russia’s Far East, will try to overturn the decision of the Justice Ministry to add it to the list of “foreign agents,” the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

The organization was declared a “foreign agent” — a label with strong espionage connotations in Russia that is applied to organizations which receive funding from abroad and are engaged in loosely defined political activity — last Friday for receiving a grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, according to Interfax.

“We are appalled by this decision and will appeal it,” Dmitry Lisitsyn, the NGO’s director, was cited by Interfax as saying Monday. “We think it doesn’t comply with the Russian law. We have never been involved in any political activity, have never planned to and never will,” he said.

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