Russia: more financial restrictions on CSOs (NGOs)?

CSOs (NGOs) may lose the right to make major transactions without approval

24 February 2021

The government is preparing another draft bill on the “fight against foreign interference”.

Izvestia reports that the Ministry of Justice is preparing relevant amendments to Articles 92 and 10 of the Federal Law on Non-Commercial Organisations.

The document establishes the need for preliminary approval for major transactions executed by CSOs in receipt of state budgetary funds.

Dmitry Vyatkin, first deputy chairman of the lower chamber Committee on Issues of Public Associations and Religious Organisations, emphasised that the legislation concerns autonomous CSOs using budgetary funds at all levels.

“They must receive prior consent from their governing bodies before executing major transactions. This is standard practice already employed by commercial organisations”, announced Vyatkin.

However, not everybody agrees.

“The government exerts such tight control over CSOs, but, for example, when it comes to banks or offshore companies — they don’t do anything”, declared first deputy chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, Nikolai Arefev. “These new measures will only make things harder for CSOs, whose work has nothing to do with politics”.

The draft bill will be submitted to the government in March and to the State Duma in June 2021.


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