Russia's lower house of parliament has given initial backing to a bill that would force internationally funded NGOs to re-register as ‘foreign agents’. Organisations that fail to re-register as foreign agents within 90 days after the law comes into force would be shut down for a period of six months. Under the bill, all Russian NGOs funded from abroad will have to submit to more rigorous checks by the authorities, including financial audits, and will be required to issue biannual reports on their activities. Those who file incomplete reports will face fines of up to one million roubles. Violations of the new measures would be punishable by prison terms of up to four years.
Having regard to the 10 July 2012 statement by the spokesperson of the Vice-President/High Representative Catherine Ashton on the amendments to the Russian NGO law, how would this law affect NGOs that are aided by funds from the European Union?
How will the EU voice its concern about the negative consequences that this new law could have on NGOs in Russia?