We have been informed about the fact that on 5 September 2023, the Office of the Russian Federation Prosecutor General has declared the ITF an "undesirable organisation" on grounds that the ITF’s activities “pose a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation”.
The grounds for this decision have immediately been refuted by the ITF. For more details, please see the ITF press release here. While the ETF is legally independent from the ITF, there is no doubt that the decision of the Prosecutor General will also have repercussions on our Federation.
As of 5 September 2023, the ETF affiliates were the following: Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR) Seafarers' and Maritime Workers' Union of Western Russia (SMWUWR) Trade Union of Railwaymen and Transport Constuction Workers of Russia (ROSPROFZHEL).
On 6 September 2023, the Secretariat has received a notice of disaffiliation from ROSPROFZHEL citing the decision of the Russian authorities. The other two affiliates have remained in our membership so far.
As a reminder, the question of membership of Russian affiliates was discussed in the aftermath of the Russian invasion to Ukraine by the ETF Executive Committee at its meeting in March 2022 and it has been concluded that cooperation should be pursued in order to defend the interests of workers in every country where ETF is represented.
I have participated in a call with the ITF General Secretary and the ITF/ETF Russian affiliates on Thursday 6 September 2023 where it has been agreed to keep the dialogue open with all affiliates so as to look for possible ways to keep the Russian unions within the ITF/ETF membership. We will continue monitoring the situation jointly with ITF, the implications of the decision on the ETF as well as on the affiliated unions and we will keep you updated. In solidarity, Livia Spera