On Monday, the human rights activists summed up the results of the inspections in the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at a meeting of the Presidential Council of Human Rights. They promised in the council to inform President Vladimir Putin about their conclusions. The prosecutor’s inspections already resulted in many NGOs stopped to be funded.
The members of the Presidential Council of Human Rights want to request the list of the NGOs from the presidential administration. In the words of Vladimir Putin, the NGOS have received about one billion dollars from the beginning of the year, the Izvestia daily reported. Head of the Agora association of the human rights organizations Pavel Chikov voiced this initiative at a meeting of the Presidential Council of Human Rights.
“My colleagues find my proposal good. I believe with such question the presidential administration has no other variant, but just to make public a list of 654 NGOs. The society should be aware what organizations are on the list. If the state authorities accuse the NGOs of insufficient transparency, so, saying A you should say B and make public the list. Why do they conceal this list?” the human rights activist contemplates.
The newspaper recalled that on April 5 ahead of his visit to Germany Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the German television and radio broadcasting company ARD. In reply to a journalist’s question about massive inspections of the NGOs in Russia Putin stated that 654 non-governmental organizations, which operate in Russia, have received 28 billion roubles from the beginning of the year or about one billion dollars. Last week 58 NGOs asked Putin to make public the list of these organizations. In their address they noted that the figures, which were voiced by the president, are several times higher than their ideas about the amount of foreign funding of the NGOs in Russia.
The meeting of the Presidential Council of Human Rights began with a scandal that was ignored by representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported.
The members of the Presidential Council of Human Rights noted that they are very indignant with the current situation and intend to report about it to Vladimir Putin. There are many claims to the prosecutor’s office, the participants in the meeting said. The human rights activists are discontent with massive inspections in the NGOs and intend to submit their conclusion on the actions of the law enforcement agencies to the president within a week.
A source of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily in a German fund, which operates in Russia, explained that to avoid different accusations similar to those the Russian authorities bring against them, the funds worked out their features of funding of the foreign projects. “We allocate money only for the purchase of the air tickets and the coverage of transportation and other expenses related with conferences in Russia, but nothing more,” the source said.
The source noted that the Europeans are guided by the principle now, “You don’t want it, so, you don’t want it”, so a lot of his colleagues complain that they are almost on the verge of bankruptcy over the laws, which the Russian authorities enacted regarding the NGOs. The sponsors do not want to allocate money for the development of the civil institutions in Russia, because this evokes a negative response from the Russian government, he said.
Sources in the U.S. Embassy also confirmed the situation, noting that after the wrapping up of the USAID program many U.S. investors stopped the financing of the Russian NGOs.