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Russian Public Chamber Calls For Delay In NGO Vote

19 December 2005 -- A new Russian consultative body has called on parliament to postpone a vote on controversial plans to restrict the activities of nongovernemntal organizations, or NGOs.

Russian media reported the request was made yesterday by the Public Chamber, a consultative body that will not be fully functional until early next year.

They say members of the chamber want a 21 December vote by the lower house of parliament, or Duma, to be postoned until the body is fully formed.

The Duma already approved the draft law in November. But it is now set to vote on a new version after President Vladimir Putin called for some provisions of the law to be softened.

The legislation seeks to tighten controls on NGOs and has been seen as an attempt to diminish foreign influence in Russia.


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