Russian Federation

Putin sings NGO law


President Vladimir Putin has signed the ‘federal law on regulating the activities of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who carry out the role of a foreign agent’.

The law will not prohibit NGOs receiving money from foreign sources but if they do so then they will be required to register with the authorities as a foreign agent. They will also be subject to checks on their income, accounting and management structures and to publish their income sources. The law also requires the NGO to label any material they publish as being that of an NGO that is ‘carrying out the role of a foreign agent’. The phrase ‘foreign agent’ in Russia has unpatriotic overtones.

The move is thought to have come about because of the way in which NGOs played a key role in exposing fraudulent behaviour in the State Duma elections last year and the presidential elections this year. They in turn led to protests which grew in size over the months and led to Putin’s displeasure.

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