Today, the Steering Committe of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum Civic Forum EU-Russia addressed an open letter to deputies of European Union countries’ who attended a roundtable on NGOs in the State Duma, with questions regarding their positions on the issue of foreign funding of NGOs. Russian media recently quoted the statements of deputies of the European Union countries’, who individually took part in the discussion organised by the Russian Duma, pointing out the danger of foreign funding of NGOs. In this regard, the Steering Committee requested these deputies to clarify the specific problems they had in mind when discussing the issue in general terms. In addition, for the sake of transparency, the Steering Committee asked which was the source of funding they used to finance their trip to Russia in order to participate at the event.
Currently, the issue of foreign funding of NGOs is extremely sharp and relevant for Russian civil society. Over the past six months, several hundreds Russian NGOs have been exposed to off-scheduled inspections of their activities, and dozens leading organizations have already been identified by the Prosecutor in violations of the law on "foreign agents" and face harsh penalties, closure of their NGOs and criminal prosecution of their leaders. In this regard, the position of deputies of the European Union’s countries is of great interest.
Read a letter