Putin: NGO restrictions needed to stem foreign influence

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 11:55 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia will continue to counter foreign influence over its domestic affairs through non-government organizations.

Speaking at Thursday's meeting of the presidential human rights council, Putin said "we will never allow" what he described as attempts to use NGOs to push Russia toward making decisions contradicting its interests.

Following major protests against his rule in 2011 and 2012, Putin signed a law requiring NGOs that receive foreign funding and engage in vaguely defined "political activity" to register as "foreign agents," a stigma they say undermines their credibility.

Several speakers at Thursday's meeting criticized the law and called for amending it, and Putin promised to look into their proposals. But he also reaffirmed the need to counter foreign attempts to use NGOs as a tool for political influence.