On Friday, the State Duma began to consider a first drafts of amendments to the Law “On Non-Profits” as suggested by President Medvedev. A small part of the Russian Federation’s Communist Party is against the hasty adoption of the reforms. The Communist Party thinks that the draft was only pushed through so that Russia would appear more “liberal” to Barack Obama, who will visit Moscow in early July.
The amendments have been accepted extremely quickly: the first draft was submitted on June 17, the first reading was on June 26, and the final draft is expected to be approved this week. Sergey Popov, Head of Public Associations, explained that according to the wishes of the President, these rules for NGOs have been in effect since August first.
If an NGO has an annual turnover of 3 million rubles, then they must declare it. The rest of the NGOs will not have to report their annual funds, but will instead send a report every three years. Thus it will be impossible for NGOs to use false documents and avoid registering with the government all together. For the time being, registration has been suspended in order to work out the flaws in the new procedure. In the amendment it also stipulates that the “authorities” (the Ministry of Justice) cannot demand that the NGOs supply them with accounting records, which only need to be provided to the “registry” (the tax services.)
The amendments only apply to Russian NGOs, international and foreign NGOs operating inside Russia will not reap the benefits.Alinga Consulting Group