Moscow, Apr 8 (UNI) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) chief General Nikolai Patrushev today accused foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of providing support to international terrorists in carrying out recruiting activities in Russian regions.
''International terrorists and religious extremists enjoy the support of certain foreign NGOs when carrying out recruitment activities,'' General Patrushev said at a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee here.
The results of an analysis of the operational situation in the Southern Federal District in North Caucasus regions bear witness to the fact that bandits and their accomplices are trying to swell their ranks by brainwashing young people, he said.
''Emissaries of foreign terrorist and religious extremist groups are taking advantage of existing socio-economic problems and ethnic and religious discord to carry out recruiting work in this and other Russian regions,'' he added.
Russian parliament passed a Kremlin-sponsored bill in 2005, preventing foreign NGOs from having branch offices in the country and making Russian groups ineligible for most sources of foreign funding.
Western countries have strongly criticised the Russian government for restrictions imposed on rights groups and NGOs operating in the country and the issue is often cited as an example of Russia's alleged backsliding on democracy.
In January, prosecutors in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, which is part of the Southern Federal District, requested that a British NGO promoting peacekeeping and community development be closed down, saying that its accreditation had expired.
UNI XC SLD RK1740