CAN responds to Russian government’s baseless charges against member Ecodefense

10 July 2014

Climate Action Network is calling for the Russian Government to end its persecution of our member organization, Moscow-based environmental NGO, Ecodefense. Recently, the Russian Ministry of Justice accused Ecodefense of being a 'foreign agent' –  meaning the organization may get shut down.

Ecodefense is under attack from the Russian authorities because it is campaigning against the construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, according to Irina Stavchuk, coordinator of Climate Action Network in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (CAN EECCA). 

“Charges of falling foul of the law on foreign agents are often levelled against independent organisations which criticise the actions of the Russian government,” Stavchuk said.

“The charges against Ecodefense are baseless – they are being made to smooth the way for Russia’s nuclear lobby, and to steamroll over public opposition to the new nuclear plant.”

According to this Law, civil society organizations funded by foreign sources and engaged in "political activities" can be registered as 'foreign agents', which not only discredits them in the eyes of the public but also allows authorities to shut down entire organizations. 

Ecodefense is one of the oldest members of the Climate Action Network in the region and is renowned  for its climate and anti-nuclear campaigning. Ecodefense publishes a popular newsletter which provides one of the only outlets for civil society in the region to criticize governments for failing to take sufficient action to protect the environment.  

“Ecodefense is defending the interests of the Russian citizens and their rights to a healthy environment by opposing the importation into Russia of nuclear waste, construction of nuclear power plants and other dangerous projects,” Stavchuk said. 

The campaign against the construction of the Baltic NPP is an illustration of the Organization acting in the interests of the Russian citizens and the entire Baltic region.

To successfully combat climate change, Russia along with the rest of the world, needs massively upscale investment in renewable energy. Nuclear energy has been shown to be a false solution to the climate crisis as it is expensive and dangerous – as the Chernobyl nuclear accident which occurred nearby proved. Polling has shown residents in the regions around where the power plant is planned oppose its construction. 


Climate Action Network: Ria Voorhaar,  +49 157 3173 5568,

Ecodefense: Vladimir Slivyak, +7 903 2997584,


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