The controversial NGO law stipulates the creation of a designated NGO authority, or registration authority that will work exclusively with the registration and work of NGOs. NGOs that receive funding from outside Russia are obliged to report this to the registration authorities, and also about how these funds are used. The registration authorities will also have the right to verify whether the use of funds by an NGO is in accordance with its by-laws once a year. The time limit for such verifications is not set and can take, theoretically, up to six months, Lev Levinson, a human rights lawyer said in an article published on hro.org. Financial control over NGOs will also become harsh. Under the law, NGOs not only have to inform the tax authorities, what has always been the case, but now also have to report to the registering body about sums received from abroad and the purposes of spending, and fill out a form produced by the government. This law contradicts the primary principles of democracy and fundamental human rights.
The Russian Duma has tabled a bill that would forbid foreign NGOs from contributing to local political parties in a move seen by many as a Kremlin tactic to limit the number of opposition political groups as well as curb foreign influence in the country’s political process, The Moscow Times reported.comments
The crucial second of four obligatory Russian Duma readings on the bill on civil society institutes, which would harshly curb the work of both foreign and domestic NGOs in the country, has been postponed from Friday until Wednesday, December 21st , Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov told news agencies.comments
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Bellona Foundation have sent a letter to the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, asking him to condemn the present Russian draft law "On introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation."comments