No way to de-register a ‘foreign agent’ NGO
According to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation no procedure exists as yet for removing an organisation from the register of ‘foreign agents’
St Petersburg, 11 Nov 2014
The ministry has informed Soldiers’ Mothers of St Petersburg, a regional civil rights defence organisation, that it cannot take the organisation off the register of ‘foreign agents’. Meanwhile the NGO has appealed against the ministry’s notice to that effect, which was issued recently.
Alexander Peredruk, the NGO’s press secretary has told Interfax that the ministry is unable to deregister his organisation because there is no procedure for doing so. This August the ministry registered the NGO compulsorily because of representations made by the public prosecutor’s office. Later the civil rights defenders sued the ministry requesting that their organisation be deregistered since they had ceased to engage in the activity which had been classed as ‘political’.
The Foundation for the Freedom of Information was placed on the register at the same time. The previous day the ministry had issued a notice to each organisation dated 3 October requiring them to provide full reports on their activities by 15 October. However, the notices were received by the organisations only on 28 October.
The NGOs are now appealing against the notices. The Foundation has directed its appeal to the ministry whilst Soldiers Mothers has appealed to the Oktyabrsky district court. The Foundation’s advocate, Ivan Pavlov, said that there had been a meeting between the two NGOs at which it was decided to contest one notice in court and the other with the administration. ‘In this way we were giving not only the court but also the ministry the opportunity to explain the legality of the claims against the NGOs’.
Author: Georgy Ivanushkin
10 November 2014
The government proposes assigning state support amounting to over nine billion roubles to NGOs in 2016 and 2017
On 14 November 2014 the State Duma of the Russian Federation (Parliament) was to give a second reading to the bill providing for the federal budget for 2015 and looking further ahead to 2016 and 2017. The deputies (MPs) will also be considering a government amendment in accordance with which government financing of NGOs will almost double in 2016-2017.
RBK (a business daily) reports that the allocations for NGOs have been approved by the Duma committee on finance and taxation. If the amendments are approved the NGOs will receive 4.7 billion roubles in 2016 (on the first reading it was 2.6 billion) and a similar amount in 2017 (formerly 2.3 billion). At the first reading the increase in the federal budget for NGOs was to be increased to 4.7 billion roubles for 2015 only. The amounts for 2016-17 remained as previously.
The procedure for paying the 2015-2017 grants will be as usual, according to RBK.