Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Russia: Nonprofits Violated 'Foreign Agent' Law

Russian prosecutors announced Tuesday that 215 nonprofits working in the country have violated a recently passed law that places heavy restrictions on outside organizations.

Russia passed a law in November that, among other restrictions, requires organizations to register as "foreign agents" if they receive financing from overseas and are deemed to be engaging in political activities. According to a report in The New York Times, Yuri Chaika, Russia's general prosecutor, said that the 215 organizations named in his report received 6 billion rubles, or about $180 million, over a period of three years yet had violated various aspects of the law.

He noted that 22 of the groups continued to use overseas funds, which is forbidden by the law, while an additional 17 received funding through foreign embassies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly accused foreign governments of using nonprofits to disrupt the country's political system but, in a statement on Tuesday, suggested Chaika show the groups some leniency.

“Analyze this practice to avoid errors and to see if any organization has been rated as a foreign agent, although it does not engage in politics,” he said, according to the news agency Interfax, The Times reported.

You can read the full story in The New York Times.

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