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Duma Committee Recommends NGO Snap-Check Bill

A relevant parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended that lawmakers pass a bill providing additional grounds for unscheduled checks of non-governmental organizations.

The committee for public unions and organizations recommended that the bill, submitted by the Russian government in June, be passed in its first reading.

According to the bill, grounds for surprise inspections of NGOs would include the failure to rectify infringements by a deadline previously set by an authorized agency, complaints by individuals and legal entities and information provided by government agencies, local authorities and the media about alleged elements of extremism in the NGOs' operations.

Unscheduled inspections might also be ordered by the heads of authorized agencies and requested by prosecutors and election commissions.

Last November, Russia introduced a new law that tightens control over NGOs and obliges those engaged in political activity and receive foreign funding to register as "foreign agents."

Large-scale nationwide inspections of NGOs took place in Russia in the spring and summer of this year. The Justice Ministry said the goal was to check whether their activities were in line with legislation.

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