Support The Moscow Times!

Transparency International Required to Register as Foreign Agent, NGO Says

Prosecutors have sent the Russian branch of international anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International a warning that is likely a precursor to registering it as a foreign agent, the NGO said in an online statement Friday.

Prosecutors said that the NGO's "actual activity includes interfering with the government's policy in the fight against corruption by lobbying its own proposals to change it," Transparency International said in the statement. "Basically, prosecutors are demanding that we submit an application to be included on the register of foreign agents."

A controversial Russian law passed in 2012 obliges nongovernmental organizations that engage in loosely defined "political activity" and that get funding from abroad to register as a "foreign agent" with the Justice Ministry. Critics say the term has negative, Cold War-era connotations, and is synonymous with "spy."

Transparency International, which has been operating in Russia for more than 15 years, was first warned to register as a foreign agent by Moscow prosecutors back in 2013. The organization last year ranked Russia 136th on its Corruption Perceptions Index, a spot it shared with Iran and Nigeria.

Yelena Panfilova, who served as head of the Russian chapter until being elected deputy chair of the global organization late last year, called the prosecutors' warning "illiterate nonsense" on her Facebook page on Friday.

… 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