Levada pollster got no warning about 'foreign agent' status
MOSCOW, May 7 (RAPSI) - One of Russias largest NGOs, the Levada Center, an organization which regularly conducts sociological and market surveys, has not received any official documents following an inspection by the Prosecutor Generals Office, the centre representatives said on Facebook.
The Investia daily wrote earlier that the Levada Center had been investigated and recognized as a "foreign agent," according to a source in the Prosecutor Generals Office.
According to the report, the prosecutors revealed that the Levada Center had received 3.9 million rubles ($125,500) from the US Open Society Institute, as well as from organizations in Italy, the UK, Poland and other countries.
The Levada Center management was unavailable for comment at the time, Izvestia wrote.
"We have not yet received any official results of the inspection," the NGO representatives wrote in its post. "Furthermore, the Izvestia reporters who wrote the article never called our press office."
RIA Novosti has not been able to obtain comments from the Prosecutor Generals Office at this stage.
Under a controversial law approved by President Vladimir Putin last year, NGOs funded from abroad and engaged 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 NGO directors.
The Russian authorities launched large-scale investigations of local NGOs in March. The Justice Ministry said the move was to check that NGOs were operating in line with their chartered goals and the law.