MOSCOW, October 30 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the number of NGOs listed as “foreign agents” had dropped almost two times, from 165 to 89, the official website of the President reads.

During his meeting with the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Putin noted that “foreign agents” form only 0.39% of all NGOs registered in Russia and that in 2017 authorities included four times less organizations in the list.

Putin noted that NGOs can leave the “foreign agents” list either through halting political activity or cancelling foreign financing and that organizations tend to choose the latter. He added that in recent five years NGOs received support estimated at over 22 billion rubles (about $382.6 million) from Presidential subsidies alone and that annual financing increased by seven times.

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 adopted in 2016, 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.