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Russia expects upsurge in activity of NGOs registered as foreign agents — lawmaker

Currently Russia’s Justice Ministry keeps 120 NGOs on the list of foreign agents

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Non-governmental organizations registered as ‘"foreign agents" in Russia will get increasingly active in the run-up to the forthcoming parliamentary and then presidential elections, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s committee for non-governmental associations and religious organizations, Mikhail Markelov, (of the United Russia party) has said.

"Current political activities and the activity of organizations having the status of foreign agents are growing in view of the forthcoming parliamentary and then presidential elections. The influx of money from other countries will grow considerably," Markelov told the lower house before the opening of the full-scale session of the lower house on Wednesday.

Markelov recalled that the current chaos in Ukraine was triggered by "numerous non-commercial organizations, most of them affiliated with the Soros Fund. "All these radicals and neo-Nazis from the NGOs have now turned into political parties."

Currently Russia’s Justice Ministry keeps 120 NGOs on the list of foreign agents. Statistics available from Russia’s financial monitoring watchdog Rosfinmonitoring Markelov quoted indicate that a total of 36 billion rubles (roughly $500 million) was granted to the NGOs in Russia in 2013. In 2015 the foreign funding of NGOs in Russia reached 87.5 billion ($1.2 billion).

"The NGOs performing the functions of foreign agents, in other words, engaged in political activities, received nearly one billion rubles from foreign sponsors," Markelov said.

The law on NGOs listed as foreign agents took effect on November 21, 2012. In the first place the law controls the activity of organizations that involved in political activities and receive cash and other assets from foreign sources. Major fines have been effective since November 14, 2012 for violating the law on the foreign agent status.