MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin has ordered to allocate more than 2.3 billion rubles (some $75 million) in 2013 to support socially oriented NGOs working in Russia, the Kremlin said on its website on Saturday.
The money will be allocated for “non-governmental non-profit organizations implementing socially beneficial projects and participating in the development of civil society institutions,” the Kremlin said.
The move comes days after the US State Department accused the Russian authorities of “witch hunt” for NGOs following the NGO Agora’s report that the latest wave of inspections had affected over 80 organizations across the country.
On Thursday, President Putin warned the Kremlin’s human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin that the raids should be monitored to ensure there were no “excesses” by the officials carrying out spot checks of NGOs.
A new controversial law, obligating non-governmental organizations financed from abroad and involved in political activity to register as “foreign agents,” came into force last November. The new legislation also requires NGOs to publish a biannual report on their activities and carry out an annual financial audit. Failure to comply with the law could result in fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($17,000).