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    Medvedev approves simpler rules for NGOs

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has approved amendments to a law on non-governmental organizations simplifying registration and other procedures for them, the Kremlin said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has approved amendments to a law on non-governmental organizations simplifying registration and other procedures for them, the Kremlin said on Monday.

    The number of audits carried out at non-profit organizations will be reduced to once every three years. The check list of documents requested by the authorities will also be restricted, and registration procedures will be simplified under the amendments.

    The amendments proposed by Medvedev were approved by the lower and upper houses of parliament earlier this month.

    Civil groups came under frequent pressure from the Kremlin under former president Vladimir Putin, now prime minister, and were often accused of receiving foreign backing to promote a "color" revolution in Russia similar to those seen in Georgia and Ukraine. Legislative amendments passed in recent years have restricted their activities in the country.

    Medvedev earlier also said that NGOs would be allowed to provide grants to certain groups of individuals, in particular Russian university graduates and young scientists.

    Ella Pamfilova, who heads the presidential Civil Society Institution and Human Rights Council, earlier said the new rules would concern Russian non-profit organizations, but added rules could also be extended to include foreign organizations working in Russia in the future.

     

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