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Work of NGOs frequently restricted in Russia without reason - Medvedev

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) - There are "a large number" of situations in which the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia are restricted groundlessly, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

"It is clear that it is difficult for you to work. There are a large number of instances in which the functioning of non-governmental organizations is restricted without any sufficient reason," Medvedev told a session of the presidential council to support the development of civil society institutions and human rights in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

"It is certainly caused by the fact that many civil servants view the activities of non-commercial and non-governmental organizations as a threat to their single-handed rule. The same situation probably exists in other countries as well. But, as far as this issue is concerned, we have our own quite cumbersome historical traditions, which continue to actively influence relations between the authorities and civil society, as well as the authorities and non-governmental organizations today," the president said.

"It is not a secret that the idea of human rights activity is seriously distorted in our country. It stems from our history and certain ideological foundations. One needs to understand one simple thing: the state itself and people who are interested in it should be responsible for protecting rights," he said.