According to the official statement of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, on June 29 Deputy Foreign Ministers Ruslan Demchenko and Pavlo Klimkin, following orders of Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, held a series of meetings with Ambassadors and senior officials of diplomatic missions of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland.
According to the official statement of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, on June 29 Deputy Foreign Ministers Ruslan Demchenko and Pavlo Klimkin, following orders of Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, held a series of meetings with Ambassadors and senior officials of diplomatic missions of the United States of America, the Russian Federation, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland. The Sides discussed “issues related to operations in Ukraine of non-governmental, non-profit foundations, which are coordinated by the related Embassies”.
The statement noted “the contribution made by international non-governmental organizations into formation and development of democracy, market economy and civil society. Such institutions, as the International Renaissance Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Stefan Batory Foundation and many others, consistently provide substantial assistance to numerous initiatives of social importance at the all-national and regional levels.”
Deputy Foreign Ministers placed emphasis to the American, Russian, German and Polish diplomats that related non-governmental organizations should conduct their operations in rigorous compliance with their statutory mandates and Ukraine’s legislation.
In this regard the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has to draw the Foreign Ministry’s attention to the fact that IRF activities are not coordinated (and cannot be potentially coordinated) by any of the above-listed diplomatic missions. It is completely incorrect to include the International Renaissance Foundation in a group of foundations that are allegedly coordinated by one of the above-mentioned embassies.
In accordance to its Statute, IRF is an international charitable organization established in compliance with the Law of Ukraine “On Charity and Charitable Organizations.” Simultaneously, IRF is an independent organization, managed solely by the citizens of Ukraine, who serve as members of the IRF Board and its administrative apparatus. All decisions related to disbursement of funds, provided to the IRF by its founder and other donors, are taken utterly and independently by citizens of Ukraine – members of the IRF Board, Program/Expert Committees and IRF Administration.
The entire (with no exemptions) qualitative and quantitative information about decisions related to charity assistance (grants) provided to non-governmental organizations, other organizations and institutions of Ukraine, as well as information on IRF operational projects and IRF international audit reports are in open access and available to the general public. They can be found on the IRF web site, regular publications in the central print media and IRF end-of-year reports.
We are forced to draw the attention of Foreign Ministry’s officials to this fact of a committed error, as IRF had already been an object of political witch hunt organized by representatives of related political forces in 2003-2004, which ended with failure.
We are also familiar with the practice of curtailment of democratic freedoms and civil rights in some post-communist countries, where the authorities first made similar notices about “rigorous compliance with statutory mandates and legislation,” and then followed them with charges over “rigorous incompliance” with regulatory norms, and, at last, presented the revealed basis to the official closure of foreign foundations and programs.
Hopefully, the Foreign Ministry officials’ referral to the IRF in the given context is a regrettable mistake.
IRF Executive Director