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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soros Says No Pullout Planned

U.S. billionaire George Soros spent the day in Moscow on Wednesday, checking up on the continuing work of his Russia-based projects, a spokeswoman said, dismissing rumors that the Hungarian-born philanthropist may soon be pulling out of Russia over difficulties in dealing with the government.


According to spokeswoman Frances Abouzeid, Soros stopped over in Moscow for a "private" visit, visiting offices and speaking to Soros Fund board members.


Soros arrived Tuesday night after a trip to Kiev to celebrate the Fund's five-year anniversary in that city, and is scheduled to leave Moscow on Thursday for Bulgaria, for another five-year anniversary celebration there, Abouzeid said.


The Soros Fund came under attack in Moscow this January, when the Federal Counterintelligence Service issued a report accusing Soros of sponsoring espionage.


Although a State Duma committee then backed off from the allegations, speculation began to circulate that a frustrated Soros had chosen to give up on his funding programs in this country.


"There is no truth to the rumor that he is pulling out," Abouzeid said Wednesday from the office of Cultural Initiative, one of Soros' Moscow-based programs.


"He's taking a different approach to funding now, trying to initiate cooperation with other organizations, but that's been the plan all along."


The high-profile Soros, whose numerous other projects include the International Science Foundation, founded in Moscow in late 1992, made a splash in 1994 with a major $100 million contribution to Russian science programs.


While this year's radically smaller pledge -- $12.5 million, to match an equal contribution from the Russian government -- could be seen as a step away from Soros's original commitment, the Fund has always been operated with the goal of encouraging alternative forms of financing, Abouzeid said.