Russia to ban think-tank formerly run by US ambassador

“We are proud of the council’s long tradition of work with Russians and on Russia, and are disappointed that Russian authorities have announced this step,” the Atlantic Council said in a statement. (Screengrab)
Updated 26 July 2019

Russia to ban think-tank formerly run by US ambassador

  • The move follows steps taken by Moscow against several other foreign non-government organizations
  • US ambassador Jon Huntsman served as chairman of the think tank from 2014 until 2017

MOSCOW: Russia said on Thursday it was preparing to ban the Atlantic Council, a think-tank formerly run by the US ambassador to Moscow, which Russia’s prosecutor general described as a security threat.
“It has been established that the activities of this organization present a threat to the fundamentals of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation,” the prosecutor general’s office said.
It gave no further details of the reasons for the ban.
The move follows steps taken by Moscow against several other foreign non-government organizations since Russia’s relations with the West deteriorated over the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 and financial sanctions that followed.
The General Prosecutor’s Office said it had handed over its ruling to the Russian ministry of justice.
“We are proud of the council’s long tradition of work with Russians and on Russia, and are disappointed that Russian authorities have announced this step,” the Atlantic Council said in a statement sent by email to Reuters, adding that it had not been informed of the decision by the authorities.
US ambassador Jon Huntsman served as chairman of the think tank from 2014 until 2017, when he was appointed to his diplomatic post by President Donald Trump.


Eight monks catch virus at remote Greek Orthodox site

Updated 21 September 2020

Eight monks catch virus at remote Greek Orthodox site

  • Mount Athos, a 1,000-year-old site and one of the Orthodox Church’s most venerated places, has 20 monasteries and almost 1,700 monks
  • The community, known for its austere rules, is almost completely isolated in a mountainous nature reserve in the Macedonia region

ATHENS: Eight monks have tested positive for coronavirus and their monastery in a remote Orthodox Christian community in northern Greece has been quarantined, a Church official said on Monday.
One of the monks was taken to hospital in Thessaloniki in a serious condition, said the official who declined to be named.
It is not the first outbreak at the Mount Athos site — four monks tested positive in March after traveling to Britain but recovered quickly.
Mount Athos, a 1,000-year-old site and one of the Orthodox Church’s most venerated places, has 20 monasteries and almost 1,700 monks.
The community, known for its austere rules, is almost completely isolated in a mountainous nature reserve in the Macedonia region.
The country’s lockdown from March to May hit the Church hard, wrecking its Easter celebrations.
Church leaders disputed some of the science behind the confinement rules — agreeing to halt masses but refusing to ban communion.
Greece has so far registered 338 deaths and more than 15,000 infections from the virus.