Putin signs into force a bill on undesirable foreign, intl NGOs

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into effect a law under which some foreign and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) may be declared undesirable and have their Russia-based activities banned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into effect a law under which some foreign and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) may be declared undesirable and have their Russia-based activities banned.

An NGO may be declared undesirable if it pursues activities threatening the Russian constitution, defense capability or security, according to the law, the text of which was posted on the official portal for legal information.

The law authorizes the prosecutor general and his deputies to prohibit, with approval from the Foreign Ministry, undesirable NGOs from running any programs or projects in Russia.

On the other hand, a blacklisted NGO may be removed from the undesirable list.

The law prohibits banks and other financial institutions from carrying out money or property transactions where one of the parties is on the undesirable list.

A financial institution that refuses to carry through such a transaction will have to report its refusal to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), and the latter will have to forward the report to the Prosecutor General's Office and Justice Ministry, according to amendments for the second reading.

If an NGO that has been put on the undesirable list continues its activities, it will face penalties - fines of between 50,000 and 100,000 for such organizations, of 20,000 to 25,000 rubles for NGO executives and of between 5,000 and 15,000 rubles for rank-and-file members, provided such activities have not included serious offenses.

Having been fined twice during one a year would entail a court case, and the offender would either have to pay a fine of between 300,000 to 500,000 rubles or an equivalent of their salary or another form of income for between two and three years or to do compulsory service for a maximum of 360 hours.

A person who voluntary stops taking part in the activities of NGO that has been listed as undesirable will be exempt from prosecution unless they have committed a criminal offense.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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