Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#10 - JRL 2006-23- JRL Home
NGO law to prevent foreign meddling in domestic affairs - Putin

ST. PETERSBURG, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the law on non-governmental organizations is meant to prevent other countries from meddling in domestic affairs.

"It [the law] is aimed at preventing the intrusion of foreign states into Russia's interior political life and to create favorable and transparent conditions for the financing of non-governmental organizations," Putin said.

Putin said the government would continue to support non-governmental organizations despite the recent scandal concerning the alleged espionage by British diplomats and MI6's involvement in financing Russian NGOs.

"We will continue supporting non-governmental organizations," Putin said and added that reason the law was passed in Russia was now clear.

NGOs with financing from other countries are thought to have played a major role in the revolutions that have swept former Soviet states in recent years, prompting some Russian politicians to voice concerns that similar activity was being carried out in Russia. Parliament passed a bill restricting the operation of NGOs at the end of last year.

The West largely saw the bill as a Kremlin tactic to tighten control over foreign activity in the country and restrict democratic freedoms.