MOSCOW, June 17 (RAPSI) – A magistrate court in Moscow has ruled that the Dynasty Foundation be fined 300,000 rubles ($5,600) for violating the NGO law, RAPSI reported from the court on Wednesday.

Since November 2012, political NGOs funded from abroad were required by law to register as foreign agents. In June 2013, the Justice Ministry was granted authority to classify NGOs as foreign agents at its own discretion and it subsequently included a number of organizations in its register.

The Justice Ministry’s audit in April allegedly showed that Dynasty received financing from foreign sources, and also that it was involved in funding political activity.

Dynasty argued that it is not involved in politics and that its activities are limited to education, science and culture.

The Dynasty foundation distributes grants and stipends to scientists and students and funds scientific publications and seminars.

On May 25, the Justice Ministry placed the Dynasty Foundation on the foreign agent list under the law on NGOs, provoking sharp criticism from human rights activists and observers.

Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov told RIA Novosti that there was no mistake in placing this NGO on the list because it was thoroughly vetted.

The foundation was established by Dmitry Zimin, founder of VimpelCom (the Beeline mobile network company), in 2001. The foundation’s objective is to develop fundamental science and education in Russia, to create conditions for Russian scientists and researchers, and to promote science and education.