MOSCOW -- The Russian Justice Ministry has added Transparency International Russia to its list of organizations designated as "foreign agents."
The ministry's announcement on April 7 brought the number of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations listed as foreign agents to 50.
President Vladimir Putin signed a law in 2012 that requires NGOs that receive foreign funding and are deemed to be engaged in political activities to register as organizations "performing the functions of a foreign agent."
Rights activists, Kremlin critics, and Western governments say the designation deliberately and unfairly suggests the groups are involved in espionage.
They see it as part of a campaign to silence dissent and rein in civil society during Putin's third presidential term.
Also on April 7, a court in the Volga region city of Samara ordered a local NGO, the Ecological Training Center, to pay a 150,000 rubles ($2,750) fine for refusal to register as a foreign agent.