19:33 GMT +314 December 2018
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    EU Parliament to Consider Funding Russian NGOs, Bloggers - Draft Resolution

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Parliament will consider a draft resolution on EU-Russian relations, which includes a proposal to increase EU financial assistance to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights activists and bloggers in Russia, according to the draft.

    "The European Parliament… stresses the importance of continued political and financial support for civil society activists, human rights defenders, bloggers, independent media, investigative journalists, outspoken academics and public figures, and NGOs; calls on the [European] Commission to programme more ambitious financial assistance to Russian civil society from the existing external financial instruments," the draft document reads.

    READ MORE: EU Parliament Committee Mulls Setting Up Post on Countering Hybrid Warfare

    The draft was submitted to the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs by Sandra Kalniete, a lawmaker from Latvia. The document will be discussed by the committee on Thursday.

    In October, Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said at a hearing in the European Parliament that in 2017 the European Union had allocated emergency grants to human rights activists from Russia.

    Russian officials and lawmakers have repeatedly said that Western states, whether individually or via inter-state institutions such as the European Union and NATO, increased their financing of the activity of organizations spreading pro-Western propaganda in Russia, including NGOs, media, and social networks. In June last year, the Russian parliament's upper house established a commission on state sovereignty protection to monitor and address these attempts to influence the country's internal politics.

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