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Law on NGOs as ‘foreign agents’ does not contradict Constitution

April 08, 2014, 13:09 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

The Russian Constitutional Court has ruled that fines under the law should be changed

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© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Zhernov

ST. PETERSBURG, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Constitutional Court has ruled on Tuesday that the law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) —“foreign agents” — did not contradict the Russian fundamental law, but fines under the law should be changed.

The Constitutional Court ruled in particular that any attempts to find negative connotation in the phrase “foreign agent”, based on stereotypes of Soviet times, did not have any constitutional and legal grounds, this term did not have any negative sense and did not discredit any non-governmental organization. Labelling NGOs as “foreign agents” is aimed at important public interests and observance of state interests, the court said.

Meanwhile, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the size of fines set in the law for individuals and legal entities contradicted the Constitution, because this factor did not permit to levy a fine smaller than the lowest level set in the law. In this regard, the court believes that specific amendments should be introduced in the country’s Code of Administrative Offences.

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