Interfax: Eighty-Eight NGOs registered as ‘foreign agents’ in two years, seven of them did it voluntarily – Justice Ministry

(Interfax – September 1, 2015)

Less than 10 percent of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) recognized as ‘foreign agents’ submitted by themselves an application regarding their status during the two years that the respective law has been in force, according to Dmitry Yermak, the acting director of the NGO department at the Russian Ministry of Justice.

“Altogether, 88 organizations have been included in the register of NGOs performing the functions of a foreign agent during these two years, seven of which were registered due to statements submitted by the organizations themselves,” Yermak said in an interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on Aug.31

In the second half of this year a total of nine applications were received by the Ministry of Justice, mostly with the request for a removal from the register and several of them are being reviewed now, he added.

“Out of the remaining organizations, 59 were registered as foreign agents in accordance with results of NGO monitoring pursued by the Ministry of Justice, while 22 other organizations were included in the register upon a request by prosecutor’s offices,” Yermak said.

He stressed that the registration of an organization as a foreign agent would not make it an unwelcome one.

“Such registration lets us establish and publicly disclose the fact that these organizations carry out political activities, while being financed by foreign sources,” Yermak said.