Russian NGOs reluctant to register as foreign agents
MOSCOW, May 15 (RAPSI) - Not a single Russian NGO financed from abroad and engaged in political activity has registered as a "foreign agent" since the new NGO law came into force, a Justice Ministry official stated in the State Duma on Wednesday.
The highly controversial law on NGOs, which took effect in November 2012, requires politically active NGOs with foreign funding sources to register as "foreign agents." Once registered, these NGOs face heightened scrutiny.
"At this stage, not a single organization operating as a foreign agent has registered officially," Tatyana Vagina, the deputy head of the Justice Ministrys NGO Department, said. "The court ruling on the Golos Association will not be enforced until its appeal is considered. Thus, this organization has not been added to the register."
Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak noted that politically active NGOs that receive financing from abroad are sabotaging the new law.
Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013 when the Justice Ministry said its goal is to check if their activities correspond with charter goals and legislation.