Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Putin Discusses 'Foreign Agents' Law With Rights Activists

NOVO-OGARYOVO — President Vladimir Putin has met with human rights activists and discussed a controversial law that requires foreign-funded, politically active NGOs to register as "foreign agents."

He said he had ordered that the law be amended to differentiate between non-governmental organizations involved in domestic politics and those that deal with social issues.

Many Russian NGOs involved in apparently apolitical activities, such as wildlife conservation and public health, have complained that they were targeted by prosecutors enforcing the law, which came into force in November 2012.

Rights groups in general have repeatedly criticized the legislation, saying the term "foreign agent" is synonymous for "spy."

In support of the law on Thursday, Putin reiterated his stance that "if people engage in domestic politics and receive money from abroad, society has the right to know what that organization is and whose money is funding it."

Participants at the meeting proposed that all state funds allocated for supporting NGOs be distributed via the Civil Dignity public movement, led by revered activist Ella Pamfilova.

"Let us organize this work. I will give the relevant orders to the presidential administration," Putin said in response to the proposal.

Pamfilova, who served as a presidential adviser on human rights under former President Dmitry Medvedev, replied that for her it would be a "tough decision" to accept the work. But, she added, "Thank you for the trust, both on behalf of human rights activists and the state authorities."

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more