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Medvedev does not rule out correction of law on NGO

July 30, 2012, 8:50 UTC+3
The RF prime minister is confident that the law on non-profit organisations “corresponds to a number of foreign laws, including the known American law”
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LONDON, July 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not exclude the possibility that, if necessary, the Russian law on NGOs that has been recently passed, will be adjusted. “If problems after all arise, the lawmakers, including the main party (United Russia) that voted for the bill, will be able to adjust the law,” Medvedev said in an interview with The Times.

The RF prime minister is confident that the law on non-profit organisations “corresponds to a number of foreign laws, including the known American law.”

“The very term ‘foreign agents’ does not mean that it is a charge, it is just a statement of the fact that that or other organisation receives money from abroad,” said Medvedev. According to him, “no state can take this indifferently, as when money comes from abroad for political activities, and his raises questions in all states.” “It was necessary and possible to establish order in this sphere,” he said.

Medvedev pointed out that the new law is so far not applied. “I am absolutely sure that it will not radically affect the activities of non-profit organisations - those involved in political issues, and those engaged in economic and humanitarian issues. There is no potential for conflict there,” - said the chairman of the RF government.

The prime minister explained the cautious attitude to the law by the fact that sometimes “phantoms emerge in the society, in which people begin to believe, and also there appear stereotypes, which people begin to follow.” Medvedev said that “if a person wants to get evidence that Russia is again going towards totalitarianism, clamps down on civil rights, then it can be found anywhere - in any society in any country.”

The high-profile law introducing the ‘foreign agent’ status for NGOs working in the political sphere and receiving money from abroad, was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 21. The document, in the view of the authors (the entire United Russia faction in the State Duma lower house of parliament signed it), is aimed at the organisation of public control over the work of organisations that are engaged in political activities in Russia and financed from foreign sources.

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