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Putin says foreign agents’ number among NGOs significantly drops

October 30, 16:23 UTC+3

Their number has dropped from 165 to 89, according to the Russian president

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© Alexey Druzhinin/ Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. The number of foreign agents among non-profit organizations in Russia has dwindled, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"Now in the registry of foreign agents such organizations have almost reduced by half, their number has dropped from 165 to 89, this is 0.39% out of the overall number of NGOs registered in Russia," Putin told a meeting of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights.

The number of these organizations included in the registry this year was four times fewer compared with 2016, he said.

The president believes that such results could have been impossible if these NGOs hadn’t changed their stance. For being withdrawn from the registry, an organization should either stop its political activity or refuse to get money from abroad.

"The NGOs are rather actively choosing the second way," he stated, explaining that favorable conditions have been created to get funding in Russia rather than to search for money from other sources.

Over the past five years, more than 22 billion rubles ($380.7mln) have been earmarked in Russia for supporting the development of NGOs as part of the presidential grant program. The annual financing has grown seven-fold, Putin said.

In 2012, Russia passed the foreign agent law that requires NGOs, which receive foreign funds and engage in political activity, to register as foreign agents.

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