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Kremlin Critic Navalny's Group Fined For Failing To Register As Foreign Agent

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny (file photo)
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny (file photo)

A Russian court has fined opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) for failing to register as a foreign agent under a controversial Russian law.

Navalny's spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on March 5 that the Simonov district court in Moscow ordered FBK to pay a 500,000 ruble (more than $7,500) fine.

Navalny, 43, has been one of President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics for the better part of a decade, enduring multiple incarcerations, a barred attempt to run for president, and a hamstrung bid for the Moscow mayor's post.

Russia passed the original "foreign agent" law -- which requires all nongovernmental organizations receiving foreign funding to register -- in 2012 following a major wave of anti-government protests.

The Justice Ministry labelled FBK a foreign agent in October. The FBK has refused to register as a foreign agent, saying it has never received financial support from foreign entities.

Last year, the “foreign agent” law was amended to brand reporters who work for organizations officially listed as foreign agents as foreign agents themselves.

Since October, the FBK has unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision of being branded a foreign agent. Navalny has said that the move was another way to impose pressure on his organization.

On March 3, Navalny and FBK chief Ivan Zhdanov said their bank accounts were emptied and all their payment cards and those of relatives were blocked in what they described as a move to discredit and disgrace them.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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