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#17 - JRL 2006-239 - JRL Home
Russian Ombudsman Optimistic About Re-Registration of Foreign NGOs

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) - Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin has said he is not inclined to see political motives behind the difficulties that branches of foreign non-governmental organizations are currently undergoing to get re-registered under a new Russian law on NGOs.

"I have talked with the leadership of the Registration Service and did not feel that there is a political order aimed at closing a significant number of foreign NGOs," Lukin said in an interview published in the Wednesday issue of Noviye Izvestia.

Lukin admitted that the re-registration procedure for foreign NGOs is quite cumbersome.

"I share the opinion that the procedure of acceptance of documents by the registration service is too cumbersome and should be simplified. The second problem is that foreign organizations are not used to work in line with the new law. I have the impression that they earlier took quite a formalistic approach to these documents, and there is the problem of changing their psychology," Lukin said.

Asked whether foreign NGOs could be viewed as agents of an 'orange' revolution, Lukin replied, "Possibly some ossified minds do think so. But I couldn't care less about this. International organizations act in all countries of the world, and they find grounds for criticism everywhere. If you take Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, they harshly criticize some U.S. steps and British laws, too," he said.