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Despite accusing two British men of spying and passing a tough new NGO registration law, Sergei Lavrov said Russia has nothing against non-profits (file photo) (AFP)
3 February 2006 --Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Moscow has nothing against nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), despite allegations that British spies have been financing such groups.
Lavrov said at a meeting with 80 representatives of Russian NGOs that "no branch of government has expressed any complaints about NGOs."
He said the British spy scandal, which erupted with the airing on 22 January of a documentary on state-run television, "did not interest our colleagues" at the meeting.
NGO say they fear authorities are aiming to clamp down on their freedoms using a tough new law signed by President Vladimir Putin in January.