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Beginning next year, non-governmental organizations will be allowed to apply without fears for grants from foreign sponsors, Izvestia writes.
The Council for Human Rights together with the presidential administration has decided how to settle the problem of lack of funds for NGOs without the risk for human rights organizations to be numbered among foreign agents. A special charity investment forum is planned to be held this year to present foreign foundations that suit Russian authorities. As a result of the forum work, a list of foreign donors will be compiled, cooperation with which will not lead to the foreign agent status to be attached to NGOs.
The forum will be organized by the Human Rights Council. Its main goal is to attract foreign and international charity funds for social projects of Russian non-governmental organizations. NGOs that will receive funds from those foreign foundations that will be among forum participants will not risk being called foreign agents.
However, there must be no access to Russia for foundations that under the guise of social projects channeled funds into Russian organizations with the aim to destabilize the political situation in the country, in fact sponsoring opposition anti-government forces. Money received by NGOs from foreign grant operators will be really aimed at social needs, Izvestia cites a source of the presidential Human Rights Council as saying.
A HRC member, Yelena Topoleva-Soldunova told the Izvetia that the president had instructed the council to consider holding an investment forum to attract foreign investors. The council must make a report by April 1 to the head of state.
"There is an idea to hold a forum with the help of which to increase foreign investments in socially-orientated projects. These may be projects of Russian and foreign donors," the council member said.
Topoleva-Soldunova believes the main task is to change the atmosphere around Russian NGOs and foreign donors. "The law on foreign agents has created an unfavorable situation when any foreign support is viewed as blameworthy and harmful, but we want to change the attitude to it," she noted.
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