Russian Law Puts Foreign Aid Groups in Limbo

By GUY CHAZAN, WSJ, October 19, 2006; Page A6

MOSCOW — Hundreds of foreign human-rights groups and other organizations operating in Russia may have to suspend operations because they are entangled in red tape from a controversial new law.

A law passed earlier this year required all such outside organizations to reregister with the government. The law vastly increased state supervision of outside groups, and was condemned by several Western leaders as a threat to Russia’s embryonic civil society.

Now many are caught in Russia’s bureaucracy. While 175 foreign nongovernmental organizations submitted documentation on time, only 87 had their applications processed by the target date, said a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Registration Service, or FRS. That represents a fraction of the 400-plus such groups active in Russia. …

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