Aboutan appeal to the president with a request to withdraw charitable foundations from the law on foreign agents was signed by 40 people, including Khamatova and Khabensky. Earlier, Putin agreed that some provisions of this law need to be clarified
The heads of Russian charitable foundations have asked President Vladimir Putin to include such organizations in the list of institutions that are not covered by the law on foreign agents. The founder of the foundation “Needs help” Dmitry Aleshkovsky told about this to the publication “Such things”.
The appeal to the president was signed by 40 people, including the founder of the “Give Life” Foundation, Chulpan Khamatova, artistic director of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater and founder of the charitable foundation Konstantin Khabensky, trustee of the “Butterfly Children” foundation, Ksenia Rappoport, co-founder of the Sunflower TimurBekmambetov, founder of the foundation “I’m helping” actor Nikita Kukushkin, founder of the foundation “House with a lighthouse” Lydia Moniava, President of the Rusfond Lev Ambinder and chairman of the organization “Nochlezhka” Grigory Sverdlin. The Konstantin Khabensky Foundation confirmed to RBC that he signed the corresponding letter.
The signatories called for allowing NGOs included in the register of foreign agents to withdraw from it if the law changes. In their appeal, they indicated that charitable organizations are already controlled by the Ministry of Justice, their activities are not political and, therefore, they are excluded from the scope of application of the norm of the above federal law.
The authors of the appeal also emphasize that the law on foreign agents does not apply to religious organizations, state corporations and NGOs created by them, state and municipal institutions, international foundations, chambers of commerce and industry and employers’ associations.
The law on NGOs-Foreign Agents was adopted in Russia in 2012. Organizations engaged in political activities and receiving funding from abroad must register as foreign agents with the Ministry of Justice. In 2014, a law was signed on compulsory inclusion in the register of NGOs-foreign agents, which is handled by the Ministry of Justice. Organizations included in this list must report on what they spend funds on, including those received from foreign sources.
In recent years, several dozen NGOs have been recognized as foreign agents, in particular “Dynasty”, “Memorial”, “Committee against Torture” and others.
In October, the law on NGOs-foreign agents was tightened. Now the reason for inclusion in the list may be the receipt of money or property from Russian legal entities, the beneficial owners of which are foreigners or stateless persons. In addition, NGOs-foreign agents were required to provide documents on the basis of which they conduct events, or information that planned events were not held.
Public figures have repeatedly raised the issue of the need to finalize the law on NGOs-foreign agents. Thus, even the participation of NGO employees in the work of councils under government agencies as experts can be considered a political activity, and all the largest “key funds that everyone knows”…> certainly indirectly haveforeign funding,” said the founder of the hospice charity foundation Vera Nyuta Federmesser. The chairman of the commission of the Public Chamber for the development of the non-profit sector, Elena Topoleva-Soldunova, in turn, advocated that the decision to assign the status of an NGO-foreign agent should be taken by the court, and the Ministry of Justice.
President Vladimir Putin also said last week that some provisions of the law on foreign agents need to be clarified. “I promise you, we will look at these vague criteria again. Even my friends said: we are engaged in such and such charitable activities, and we are being led to the fact that we are foreign agents,” he said, answering a question from the editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta Dmitry Muratov during a discussion in Sochi at the annual meeting of the Valdai discussion club.
“I constantly give such instructions to both the presidential administration and the State Duma deputies to return and return to this topic, improve this tool and in no case abuse it,” Putin said.
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