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    Russian President Vladimir Putin

    Putin Signs Bill to Remove NGOs From Foreign Agent List

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    President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill allowing removal of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the so-called Foreign Agent List.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill allowing the removal of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Foreign Agent List.

    In February 2015 the Russian President submitted the bill on removing of NGOs from Foreign Agent List. In accordance with the new legislation NGOs may be excluded from the list by request sent to the Justice Ministry. The request will be considered by an authorized federal body along with a prosecution service, which will immediately conduct an unscheduled inspection of the NGO. The organization would be either excluded or kept on the list depending on the inspection results.

    It should be noted that the NGO would be removed from Foreign Agent List if the inspection revealed that the organization had not received finance from abroad and had not been involved in political activities during the year prior to the request.

    A federal law requiring NGOs funded from abroad and engaged in political activities in Russia to register as "foreign agents" came into force in November 2012. In June, 2013, Russia's Justice Ministry obtained the right to include NGOs on the list at its discretion. It is worth mentioning the Russian President said in August 2013 the legislation would be amended. In Autumn 2014, one of the NGOs included on the "foreign agents" registry made an appeal to the Justice Ministry asking to be removed from the list. The appeal was rejected since there was no legal procedure authorizing the removal.

    Thus, to fix the legal loophole, the Russian President submitted the new bill on the removal NGOs from Foreign Agent List and it was adopted on February 27, 2015 by the Russian State Duma and signed by President Putin on March 9.


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