MOSCOW, July 4 - RAPSI. Amendments proposing to grant a foreign agent status to politically oriented non-profit organizations financed from abroad have been "borrowed" from U.S. legislation and partially taken from the experience and recommendations of countries making up the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Alexander Sidyakin, a sponsor of the bill and a State Duma deputy, said.
The proposed changes to the law on non-profit organizations grant a foreign agent status to not-for-profit politically focused organizations which receive foreign financing.
In particular, the amendments outline criminal penalties for failing to submit the necessary documents to include the organization in the register of non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents.
Violators will be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($9,117), or the value of the convicted person's salary, or punished by up to 480 hours of corrective labor, or up to two years in prison.
The State Duma's consideration of these amendments in the first reading has been scheduled for July 6 .
"A PACE session was held last week and the procedure regarding the activity of human rights organizations in PACE countries was examined on Wednesday. Surprisingly, all organizations of this kind in PACE are divided into politically oriented and non-politically oriented organizations," Sidyakin said, during the discussion of the draft law at the meeting of the State Duma profile committee on Tuesday.
"We have the same division in our country - there are politically oriented and non-politically oriented non-profit organizations. This distinction (the division of organizations depending on their involvement in the political activity) can be reflected in national legislation," Sidyakin said.
He said that a similar law has been in effect in the United States since 1938. Under U.S. law, any activity is recognized as a political activity if a U.S. citizen, using any means, intends to influence any organization, official or any part of society to form, adopt or change the domestic and foreign policy of the United States.