Russia May Classify NGOs Funded From Abroad as Foreign Agents

Russia’s ruling United Russia party said it would propose legislation to classify all non-governmental organizations that receive financial aid from abroad as “foreign agents.”

If passed, the bill would require that NGOs publish twice-yearly reports on their activities and conduct annual audits, United Russia lawmaker Alexander Sidyakin said in a statement published today on the party’s website.

“There’s a whole network of NGOs whose financing is suspicious from the point of view of its provider,” he said, according to the statement.

Thousands of Russians have taken to the streets to protest against President Vladimir Putin in the country’s biggest demonstrations in a decade. Putin, who returned to the Kremlin this year for a third term, signed off June 8 on a separate bill that increased fines for breaking protest laws to 300,000 rubles ($9,254) from 2,000 rubles.

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