State Duma committee approves banning undesirable foreign NGOs from creating companies
MOSCOW, November 16 (RAPSI) – The State Duma Committee for non-governmental and religious organizations has recommended that the lower house of parliament adopt a bill prohibiting undesirable foreign NGOs from creating Russian legal entities, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
In May 2015, the procedure and consequences of declaring foreign and international NGOs undesirable in Russia including ban on establishment of business unit by such organizations were prescribed in 2015, an explanatory note to the bill says.
In the meantime, the legislation does not prohibit creation of Russian legal entities by such NGOs, according to the government members who drafted the bill.
The law under which foreign NGOs can be put on "undesirable organizations" list if they are believed to be a threat to the constitution, defense or security came into effect on June 3, 2015. These organizations will be prohibited from working and from circulating information materials in Russia, and their offices and branches will be closed.
A decision to declare a foreign or international NGO an undesirable organization can be made or reversed by the Prosecutor General or his deputies, based on consultations with the Foreign Ministry. The Justice Ministry will compile and publish a list of non grata organizations.
Among the NGOs on the blacklist are the Open Society Foundation (Soros Foundation), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the MacArthur Foundation, Freedom House and others.