NGOs may be formally divided into social and political organizations
NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 4 (RAPSI) - Instructions have been issued to divide the NGOs that work in Russia into those that engage in political activities and those that are involved in social issues, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with human rights activists.
"We do not prohibit [NGOs], and only those organizations which work in the field of domestic policy should be registered, yet we must divide them into those that engage in political activities and those that are involved in social issues, so as not to create any problems for the latter," Putin said. "In fact, we don't want to create any problems for anyone, but these organizations must not create any problems for us either, and their activity should not require actions to be taken in response."
Putin told First Deputy Chief of the Kremlin Staff Vyacheslav Volodin that ways to amend the law's "gray zones" should be considered together with human rights activists.
"We will analyze the application of the law to amend it," Putin said.
Under a 2012 law on NGOs, organizations that receive funding from abroad and engage in political activities are required to register as foreign agents, or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,000) for NGOs and up to 300,000 rubles ($10,000) for directors of NGOs.
Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013 when the Justice Ministry said its goal was to ensure that the organizations' activities correspond with the objectives of their charters and Russian legislation.
Many NGOs which focus on social issues have complained that the law has created registration problems for them.