New tax regulations in Russia restrict NGOs
Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister, has passed a decision restricting the work of international and foreign nongovernmental organizations in the Russian Federation. Pavel Chikov, President of the Inter-Departmental Association of Human Rights Organizations “AGORA” is certain that this “unmotivated, non-transparent, arbitrary land discriminatory exclusion of organizations from the list of those with tax concessions is undoubtedly a restriction on their activities”.
“The decision which certainly concerns issues of Russian foreign policy was in Putins style prepared in secret and not publicly discussed. It was taken by a narrow circle of people who consider themselves entitle to take State decisions with no consideration for public opinion and public explanation of their actions.
Since the Constitution states that the government is merely entitled to implement foreign policy, while it is the President who directs this, one can assume that the decision was agreed with Dmitry Medvedev”
Pavel Chikov sees the move as being a way to squeeze out foreign NGOs or make them buckle under. He stresses that those willing to support civic organizations are not being stopped, however the outlay for them is being increased, and points out that against general world practice of offering NGOs tax concessions, Russia is following the path taken by Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan where international NGOs are banned.
From material at www.hro1.org