No equals sign should be placed between the law on foreign agents and the law on undesirable organizations, both of which are relevant, the Kremlin has said.
"These are two totally different things. An organization is deemed undesirable if it poses a threat to Russia's national security and national interests, as formulated in the law. So, two absolutely different subjects are involved here," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told the media.
Head of the Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said in an earlier interview with the newspaper Vedomosti that foreign agents as an institution must become a thing of the past as something that has lost its meaning now that the law on undesirable organizations has been adopted.
Peskov said that the law on foreign agents should not be "misinterpreted, or overly exaggerated," noting that "no one forbids these organizations from doing what they are doing."
Asked whether the Kremlin will heed rights campaigners' concerns that the law on foreign agents does not clearly define the term "political activities," Peskov said, "Those who have concerns in this connection can quietly formulate them. These concerns must be based on concrete facts."
"We must be concrete here instead of sharing abstract concerns. The problem is, meanwhile, that abstract concerns are mostly shared, concerns that are not based on anything," Peskov said.
On reports about the decision to add Dmitry Zimin's Dinastia Foundation to the foreign agent register, Peskov said this does not indicate that the laws dealing with nongovernmental organizations are imperfect.
"If Zimin gets money from overseas he, in accordance with the law, has been entered into the foreign agent register. This does not imply a ban on his activities. Whether or not his foundation will be closed depends on his own initiative. The situation does not point to flaws in this law," the Kremlin spokesman said.
Peskov added, however, that if the Zimin foundation "has been entered on this list, but he was not receiving money from abroad, then all legal grounds are in place to turn to court."
The Justice Ministry's press service reported on Monday that Dinastia had been added to the register of foreign-agent nongovernmental organizations.
Dinastia founder Zmin told Interfax that he plans to stop financing this organization in connection with the Justice Ministry's decision.
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