Kremlin official proposes to amend NGO law

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – June 13, 2013) The law on non-governmental organizations (NGO) acting as foreign agents may be amended, says Ksenia Yudayeva, the chief of the Russian presidential expert directorate.

“I think a lot of laws we adopt are later discussed and subjected to an adjustment process,” Yudayeva told journalists at the Civil G20 Summit in Moscow on Thursday.

“For any country, including Russia, this is quite a standard practice,” Yudayeva said.

Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the presidential Human Rights Council, believes the law on NGO is bad and should be amended.

“We believe the current law enforcement practice shows the only thing: it is written poorly. This means it needs to be adjusted,” Fedotov told journalists at the same summit.

The Human Rights Council has recommendations on how to improve this law, he said.

Prosecution agencies, the Justice Ministry, and the Tax Service recently started mass inspections of Russian NGOs to see how they comply with the new law on NGO. Leading Russian NGOs, including Memorial, the Moscow Helsinki Group, Golos and others, said they will not be registered as foreign agents.