Levada-Center to appeal its inclusion in “foreign agents” list
MOSCOW, September 9 (RAPSI) – One of Russia’s largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Levada-Center, which regularly conducts sociological and market surveys, will appeal its inclusion into a “foreign agent” list, the Center announced on Friday.
On September 6, Russia’s Ministry of Justice announced that the Levada-Center was declared a “foreign agent”.
According to director of the Center Lev Gudkov, “current situation much complicates the work of our organization.” He states that the “foreign agent” status, which may be interpreted as synonymous to a “spy” is going to prevent sociological surveys by the Center.
The law adopted in November 2012 requires that all NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving foreign funding register as “foreign agents”.
Under the amendments to the law, which were adopted this year, political activity is linked to such fields as state-building, securing Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, enforcement of law, order and security, national defense, foreign policy, political system integrity, social and economic and national development of the country, regulation of rights and freedoms of man and citizen.
NGOs which are engaged in organization and holding of public events, including meetings, manifestations, demonstrations, discussions and performances would be deemed to be involved in political activity.
Moreover, those NGOs which are involved in work aimed at achieving certain results during elections or referendum, vote monitoring practices, establishment of election commissions or support of political parties would also be put on the list of those organizations which are engaged in political activity.
Levada-Center named after famous Russian sociologist Yury Levada, is one of the largest Russian NGOs that conducts sociological and market surveys.