Russian ambassador summoned to explain Czech NGO ban

The Russian ambassador to Prague was summoned to the Czech Foreign Ministry on Thursday to explain Moscow’s decision to put the Czech NGO People in Need on a list of undesirable organizations, effectively banning its operations in the country.

The ambassador was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Povejšil who stressed that People in Need is an internationally recognized humanitarian organization active in the fields of humanitarian aid, development and education and voiced serious concern with regard to the decision.

Czech-Russian relations have been strained by a number of incidents in recent months, including the renting out of flats intended for Russian diplomats and the decision of Prague 6 to remove from its premises a statue of the controversial Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev.