News | Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (en) - Ukraine (en) Closing a Window of Opportunity

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Moscow Office is forced to shut its doors

Dagmar Enkelmann, Chair of the Executive Board of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Photo: RLS

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, like the other political foundations in Germany, has been affected by the announcement of the Russian Ministry of Justice that 15 international and German organizations are to have their registration and thus the legal foundation for their work in the country revoked. For almost 20 years, the foundation has supported civil society forces in their work for a socially just and democratic Russia, promoted dialogue on issues such as democracy and social justice together with the other political foundations, and facilitated political education on the ground.

“Our work had already been continuously hampered in recent months. Nevertheless, we tried to maintain the strands of dialogue, to continue cooperation with our partner organizations, and exchange views on critical issues. The announced decision not only means the closure of our Moscow office, but at the same time it puts an end to an opportunity for civil society dialogue between Germany and Russia”, Dagmar Enkelmann, Chair of the Executive Board, observed. She pointed out that Russia has increasingly developed into an autocratic system in recent years, in which freedom of the press and independence of the judiciary no longer exist. She strongly criticized the Russian authorities’ decision and sees it as a further sign that Russia is becoming more and more closed off while democratic forces are pushed to the margins of society.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation took a clear position at the beginning of the war, condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which is in violation of international law, and demanding the immediate cessation of all hostilities and the withdrawal of Russian troops. “With this clear position, we naturally became the focus of the Russian authorities”, Enkelmann said. Now the safety of our staff has top priority. At the moment, there is no official written decision from the Ministry of Justice.