|Russian Peresident Vladidmir Putin signs a bill passed by parliament which brands NGOs which receive funding from abroad as “foreign agents”.
Putin “signed the federal law on regulating the activities of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who carry out the role of a foreign agent”, the Kremlin said Saturday in a statement.
The law, which sailed through the State Duma lower house on July 13 and then the upper house Federation Council on July 18, requires NGOs who receive foreign funding to register with the authorities as foreign agents.
The NGOs will have to allow official checks of their income, accounting and management structure as well as regularly make public their sources of income and their management.
The law has caused huge concern among activists who fear it will be used to stigmatise critical NGOs.
The label “foreign agent” does not directly implicate the NGO in espionage but does carry in Russian unequivocally negative connotations of unpatriotic behaviour.
“Materials published by the NGO in the media and on the Internet should be accompanied by a note that these materials have been published or distributed by an NGO carrying out the role of a foreign agent,” the new legislation says.