Russian proposes restricting participation by NGOs at international meetings


According to the Reuters News Agency, it is in possession of a document indicating that Russia is trying to restrict the participation of nongovernmental organizations in open meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE].

According to the reports, Russia, supported by Belarus, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is proposing that NGOs should only be allowed at meetings of the OSCE with the approval of the country where they are registered. The organizations would also need to comply with the legislation of their country, not support violence and terrorism, and also have considerable experience of work.

The agency states that OSCE diplomats have responded negatively to the idea, and they say that western delegations would reject the Russian initiative as undemocratic.

Representatives of western governments in the OSCE believe the suggestion is another attempt by the Kremlin to place civic society under its control.

The meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs where any such proposal could be discussed will take place at the end of November. There are 56 states within the organization.

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