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Putin Tells Kremlin Administration To Amend NGO Bill

President Putin conducting a cabinet session on 5 December (epa) 5 December 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his administration five days to work out amendments to a controversial draft bill that aims at tightening control over nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

Putin told a cabinet meeting that the bill needs to be amended in order to allay concerns voiced by the European Commission and the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. The Public Chamber was set up earlier in 2005 to analyze draft legislation and the activities of parliament.

The controversial draft bill on NGOs passed its first reading in parliament in November. Russian NGOs fear the bill may be used to for political purposes.

Putin said the bill was needed "to safeguard the Russian political system against external interference and society from terrorist and misanthropic ideologies."