August 18, 2006 -- Russian authorities today set a deadline for foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to register with a government commission or be barred from working in the country.
Aleksei Yafiarov, the government official in charge of NGO registration, told a news conference that these organizations have until October 18 to re-register under a new law that went into force on April 17.
The law has been widely criticized for giving the state too much control over civil societies.
Russia's Democratic Development
Demonstrators speak with local politicians in Butovo about the destruction of a local forest in July 2006 (RFE/RL)
IS RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY MANAGING? Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Western powers seek to pressure Russia under the pretext of concern over its democratic development. He has said Russia is ready to listen to "well-intentioned criticism," but will not allow anyone to interfere in its internal affairs. The Kremlin has been criticized for stifling political oppostion, increasing central control over the media, and cracking down on the work on nongovernmental organizations.