Russia has banned a school in the Hudson Valley calling the school a threat to Russia and deemed the school undesirable.
Russian Prosecutor General’s Office recently deemed Bard College in Dutchess County as "undesirable" in Russia.
"Following the examination of materials, the Prosecutor General’s Office decided to recognize the Bard College foreign-based educational NGO undesirable on the Russian territory," the Office said. "It has been determined that the NGO’s activity threatens the constitutional order and security of Russia," Russian Prosecutor General’s Office stated.
Bard has run a degree-granting partnership for about 25 years at St. Petersburg State University in Russia. Bard becomes the 35th organization deemed as an undesirable foreign organization by Russia. The move makes any association with Dutchess County college a crime in Russia.
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Bard’s president, Leon Botstein, told the New York Times the decision is harsh and said the college is innocent when it comes to being undesirable.
"You’ve got the wrong person. There’s no crime. If it doesn’t get reversed — because it’s a mistake — it will have a corrosive effect on any kind of scientific, cultural or educational cooperation," Botstein said.
The reason for the ban from Russia is unclear, though some think the Annandale-on-Hudson school's connection with George Soros could be to blame. In April, Soros, one of the richest men in the world, gave a "transformational" and "historic" half-billion-dollar donation to Bard College.
“There’s no coincidence that the announcement of Bard becoming an undesirable organization comes just after the Biden-Putin summit and new U.S. sanctions on Russia,” Bard’s vice president for academic affairs Jonathan Becker told the New York Times.
Soros’s Open Society Foundations believes the ban is unrelated to the New York billionaire and is due to an "an internal power struggle in Russia."
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