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Controversial NGO law comes into force in Russia

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, Apr 17 (UNI) A new law on non-governmental organisations (NGOs), approved by the Russian parliament in December last year, came into force today after the amendments were made by President Vladimir Putin.

The new controversial law on NGOs was adopted by parliament, amid accusations by Moscow that western NGOs were acting as spies under the cover of non-governmental organisations in the country.

The United States and the European Union sharply criticised the new law on NGOs, claiming it would hamper the activities of foreign NGOs in Russia, including humanitarian and rights groups.

Russia dismissed the accusations as absurd saying control over foreign NGOs in western countries was much more stringent.

''Moscow will consider recommendations from the Council of Europe when drawing up documents for implementing the law on NGOs,'' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had earlier said.

''Many good pieces of advice from Europe have been considered while preparing the NGO law and will be taken into account while preparing enforcement documents to implement the new Russian legislation on NGOs,'' Mr Lavrov said.

He also said that Russia and the Council of Europe wanted more productive discussion of problems related to NGOs.

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