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Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo) 20 July 2005 -- President Vladimir Putin today signaled that Russia might ban foreign organizations from funding political activities in the country.

Meeting with human rights representatives at the Kremlin, Putin said, "Let us solve our internal problems ourselves."

"I object categorically to foreign funding of political activity in the Russian Federation," Putin said. "I object to it categorically. Not a single self-respecting country allows that and neither will we."

The comments follow crackdowns on nongovernmental organizations across a number of former Soviet republics in the wake of popular uprisings in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan in the past two years.

Putin's critics have meanwhile accused his administration of infringing on human rights and deviating from the country's democratic path.

Russian authorities have already shut down the Moscow office of the Open Society Institute of billionaire philanthropist George Soros -- targeted by authorities in Central Asia for allegedly stoking unrest.

(AP/AFP)
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