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Putin: Russia won’t allow influence from outside through non-profit organizations

"We cannot allow this in our country, in Russia, and we won’t allow this," Putin said

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Moscow won’t allow political influence from outside through non-profit organizations financed from abroad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

As Putin explained, after Russia passed a law on non-profit organizations in the country, which helped identify those of them that were engaged in politics, some foreign states re-oriented their financial channels to escape restrictions.

"The financing [in some countries] is provided from the budget and is sometimes camouflaged. Funds come through various channels as if to non-governmental organizations and from there they come abroad, not only to Russia but to many other countries," the Russian president said.

"As soon as we passed a law restricting such financing as part of the political activity in the country, organizations have appeared [abroad] as entities that do not fall under these restrictions," the head of state stated at a meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.

According to Putin, "immediately decisions were made in the bodies, which finance this activity, to concentrate financing on those who have permission but with the corresponding influence on their practical activity in the country, in this case, in our country," the Russian leader said.

"We cannot allow this in our country, in Russia, and we won’t allow this," Putin said.

The Russian leader noted he meant not only Russia but also countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

"This concerns not only us but some CIS countries where there is full dominance [of foreign non-profit organizations] and even true home-grown public organizations cannot utter a word as there is complete dominance," the Russian leader said.

The president told the Council members about his recent talk with a foreign colleague without specifying this person. The talk was about influence on political processes abroad. According to Putin, his interlocutor refused to recognize that foreign countries were attempting to influence political processes in Russia, saying that NPOs were dealing with this.

"I tell him: but you pay them and write instructions for them! I personally read them because my former colleagues [from security services] sometimes bring them to me, sometimes original instructions," Putin said.

At the same time, the Russian leader said that "all these complexities and attempts to govern us from inside should not incite us to act absolutely illogically in violation of our own real interests and should not restrict the activity of real public Russian organizations and should not bring to zero public control and public influence on our internal processes."

"All these complexities should not paralyze our activity in this very important direction," Putin said.