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Russia to Curb Foreign Groups

November 24, 2005|From Associated Press

MOSCOW — Lawmakers Wednesday gave preliminary approval to severe restrictions on foreign-funded groups amid growing Kremlin unease over organizations that promote human rights and democracy.

The bill, which advanced past the first of three readings in the lower house of parliament, would require local branches of foreign nongovernmental organizations to reregister as Russian entities subject to stricter financial and legal restrictions. It also would allow government oversight.

Groups say the bill, approved 370-18, could in effect terminate their Russian operations.

Restrictions include a requirement for founders and managers to be Russian citizens or permanent residents. Human Rights Watch said the law could lead to its closure in Russia.

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