MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – The operation of law enforcement agencies is not enough for Russia: the country also needs dialog between its society and authorities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
“Everything that is done in Russia is designed to make out country more effective and stable,” Putin said at a meeting of the presidential Human Rights Council. “It cannot be more stable if it relies solely upon the power of law enforcement and repressive bodies.
“It will be more stable if our society becomes more self-disciplined, effective, responsible, if there is a connection between society, citizens and the state,” Putin said.
Commenting on the recently adopted law on NGOs, the Russian president said the law was designed “to prevent foreign organizations representing the interests of other countries from interfering in our domestic affairs.”
Since Putin’s reelection as president in March, Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has given the green light to several laws that Russian civil society activists claim are intended to dampen dissent and provoke fear among citizens who have become increasingly active in recent months.
These laws range from a substantial hike in protest-related fines to the law requiring homegrown NGOs to register as “foreign agents” if they receive foreign funding and engage in political activity.