Russia agrees to remove some NGOs from its “foreign agents” register

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Interfax – May 25, 2015)

Three nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become the first to be taken off the Russian government’s register of “foreign agents” after changes to the law made their removal possible, Interfax news agency reported on 25 May.

In autumn 2014 an NGO in St Petersburg complained that it could not get itself off the register because there was no procedure to do so, the agency explained. This led the Russian human rights ombudsman, Ella Pamfilova, to raise the issue with President Putin. He agreed that something needed doing and the law was amended in March this year.

The register of foreign agents was amended on 22 May to remove the Centre for Social Policy and Gender Studies in Samara, the Birobidzhan branch of the Municipal Academy national organization, and the League of Female Voters in St Petersburg. This is because they have all ceased to exist, Interfax said.