Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 01:42 AM EDT, 22 July 2012
Tensions between Washington and the Kremlin have escalated over the past eighteen months largely because Russia has aligned with China to defeat the United Nations Security Council’s efforts to institute punitive sanctions against Syria.
The standoff recalls the stance of the U.S. and USSR during the Cold War era which lasted from 1947-1991. During this period the United States, NATO, and other nations joined together in opposition of communist Soviet Union, its allies and satellite states.
Despite the fact that Russia enacted democratic governance in 1993 its election cycles continue to be plagued with accusations of corruption. Now, with the approval of a new law which labels non-governmental organizations receiving financial support from abroad as “foreign agents,” Russia is poised on the precipice of totalitarianism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law which will tighten controls on civil rights groups funded from abroad, the his press office said on Saturday, a step opponents say is part of a campaign to suppress dissent.
The law, which was cleared by the upper house of parliament earlier in July, will force non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaging in “political activity” to register with the Justice Ministry as “foreign agents” and to file a report to officials every quarter. (Source: Forbes)
Opponents of the law believe that President Putin signed the bill with the full knowledge that its real intent is to silence organizations and individuals critical of his leadership. Though the law broadly applies to all NGOs, it specifically targets NGOs engaging in political activities.
Less than a month prior, President Putin signed another ‘undemocratic’ bill which prohibits people participating in unauthorized demonstrations, and in the case where these demonstrations were organized by an NGO or other organization, huge fines can be levied.
Many Russian NGOs have stated that they will not comply with new law, and according to reports, the Moscow Helsinki Group leader Lyudmila Alexeyeva said her group will turn down foreign funding in an attempt to work around the law.Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report
- Despite protests, the Kremlin put a ‘foreign agent’ label on foreign-funded NGOs. Here’s what that means: (shortformblog.com)
- Russia’s Parliament Passes Restrictions On NGOs (huffingtonpost.com)
- Russian parliament passes restrictions on NGOs (miamiherald.com)