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Justice Ministry Adds Nuclear Research Center to 'Foreign Agents' List

Russia's Justice Ministry added a Moscow-based think tank that specializes in nuclear arms research to its controversial list of "foreign agents" on Wednesday.

The designation means that the PIR Center, founded in 1994, has been found to receive funding from abroad and to conduct political activities, thus meeting two criteria that require registration as a "foreign agent" in accordance with the 2012 law.

The law obliges non-governmental organizations that fall under these two categories to label themselves as "foreign agents," a term that critics say has negative connotations of espionage and deters potential partners from cooperation.

Critics have accused the Kremlin of using the law to crack down on society and suppress opposition. Other organizations on the list of "foreign agents" include the independent elections watchdog Golos and human rights group Memorial.

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