Foreign financing amount for NGOs unclear - Justice Ministry
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MOSCOW, April 5 - RAPSI. The Justice Ministry does not have information regarding how much financing Russian NGOs receive from abroad, First Deputy Justice Minister Alexander Smirnov told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Media reported earlier that the ministry believes foreign financial support to certain Russian NGOs may be in the tens of millions of dollars, citing a ministry source.
Smirnov added that NGOs cannot receive unofficial foreign financial support.
The highly controversial law on NGOs that took effect last November requires politically active NGOs with foreign funding to register as "foreign agents."
Once registered, these NGOs face heightened scrutiny. They are required to file regular disclosures with the government and to mark all materials disseminated via major channels as the product of a "foreign agent."
The law also requires NGOs to publish a biannual performance report and to carry out an annual financial audit.
Up to 2,000 rights groups and NGOs in Russia have been raided by prosecutors and other officials over the past several weeks, according to some estimates. Many activists have complained of unexpected and time-consuming raids, while activists have condemned the inspections as a form of intimidation.