TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. [excerpt re: NGOs]

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 26, 2017)

Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko.

Valentina Matviyenko: Mr President, we also organised public hearings on a subject that was long ripe for discussion. We simply gave this discussion a formal framework through these hearings on the inadmissibility of interference in Russia’s internal affairs. We know how the US Congress is behaving today. Our action is not some kind of mirror response, but the US Congress has established a special committee to counter Russian influence, this invented threat for which they provide no facts and give no evidence. At the same time, we are getting information from the regions on increasing attempts to influence internal processes in our country.

These hearings were very serious and substantial. Intelligence and law enforcement heads presented facts and figures and gave examples. Once again, no one is looking to ban NGOs from working in our country, and our laws prohibit this, but we want to understand how the large amounts of money entering our country are being spent and with what purpose. We know for certain that this is not charity work, humanitarian cooperation or cultural programmes. These funds and NGOs are primarily engaged in political activity.

No one plans to tighten the screws. We have no such intention. We are studying foreign experience and legislation in this area, including that of the European countries. We have established a Federation Council commission that will serve as a public platform for open discussion of these matters. Let all who think that we are doing something wrong come out and present their proposals. We are not going to work behind closed doors. This will be an open platform for civil society organisations, NGOs, deputies and senators to discuss these issues together.

[featured image is file photo from different occasion]