Wednesday, June 5, 2013

100 Russian NGOs to Be Labelled "Foreign Agents"

About 100 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia may be classed as foreign agents, Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said. "It is difficult to give an exact number... probably about 100. This is my own estimate," he told reporters on Wednesday. Under a controversial federal law approved by President Vladimir Putin last year, NGOs funded from abroad and engaged in political activities are required to register as 'foreign agents,' or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,000) for NGOs and up to 300,000 rubles ($10,000) for NGO directors. Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013, when the Justice Ministry said its goal was to check that these organizations' activities corresponded with the objectives of their charters and Russian legislation.

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