MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Justice Ministry on Thursday denied reports that a regional branch of the No to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Foundation had been warned under the new “foreign agent” law.
“This requirement [to disclose sources of foreign funding] has existed since 2006. Thus, the warning issued is in no way linked to the coming into force of the law on NGOs acting as foreign agents,” the Justice Ministry press service said.
Kommersant daily had earlier reported that the Saratov branch of the non-profit organization had been warned that it would be in violation of the law on “foreign agents” and could face closure unless it discloses information regarding its foreign funding.
The Justice Ministry confirmed it had issued a warning, but said this was under a law regulating the activities of public organizations dating to 2006.
The NGO’s Saratov branch faces closure after failing to report on the funds it received from foreign organizations in 2011.
“The organization did not provide any information on the amount of funds received from foreign sources in 2011,” the Justice Ministry says.
This latest notification from the Ministry, dated November 28, is the second time the foundation has been warned it would be breaking the law unless it reported receiving foreign funding. The first was sent on June 29.
The paper was not able to get a comment from the Ministry before going to press.
*The story “Russian NGO Warned Under ‘Foreign Agent’ Law” was published before the Justice Ministry’s comments were available.