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Duma Deputy Calls for Probe Into Golos Election Watchdog

State Duma deputy Vladimir Ovsyannikov has sent a request to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office to conduct a check into election watchdog Golos' compliance with new legislation that requires all political organizations receiving funds from abroad to register as "foreign agents."

Lilia Shibanova, the head of Golos, told RIA-Novosti that "the organization does not consider itself to be anybody's agent, as it is not engaged in any kind of political activity." She added that the organization would go to court to protect its interests.

Ovsyannikov, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, claimed that the organization had received more that $342,000 from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, the European Commission, and the UK Embassy.

Shibanova said that the organization does not plan on turning down foreign funding and that the government "simply wants to close the organization."

Izvestia cited Shibanova as saying that the organization "currently does not accept funds from abroad," however.

Earlier in February, 11 Russian NGOs lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights about the controversial "foreign agents" law, which came into force in November 2012.

Golos was one of the 11 organizations that signed the complaint.

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