Russian Parliament Considers Tightening Control over NGOs
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 10:40 PM

Despite allegations that it is a "threat to civil society," the lower house of the Russian Parliament, in the first two of three readings required to make a law,  has passed a draft bill that will allow closer regulation of NGOs. Some say the legislation is necessary for national security, arguing that the government must keep closer watch over the activities and finances of the organizations. The legislation is strongly supported by the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin. "The authorities argue that NGOs are being used by Western governments and foreign spies to fan revolution across the former Soviet Union." Western governments have voiced criticism of the bill and Russian NGOs are lobbying for revisions that will remove the threat to democracy.

Compiled from: Rosenberg, Steve, "Russian MPs pass key NGO measure," BBC News, 21 December 2005.