The Kremlin will give grants to the Memorial human rights organization and several other opposition-minded NGOs, which are to be called “foreign agents" in accordance with a new law.
Two regional branches of Memorial will receive a combined 800,000 rubles ($24,000) from the 2.3 billion rubles ($700 million) that the Kremlin has allotted for support of non-profit groups this year, the daily business newspaper Vedomosti reported on Monday.
Memorial was one of dozens of NGOs accused by prosecutors earlier this year of being a “foreign agent,” or an NGO involved in political activity and receiving funding from abroad. Under a controversial 2012 law, such NGOs have to give up on overseas donations or deal with extra red tape.
In their turn, opposition-minded NGOs have complained that they only take foreign money because the Russian government does not support them and discourages businesses from doing so.
The independent pollster Levada Center – likewise accused of being a foreign agent – also qualified for 2.8 million rubles ($85,000), the report said. Another recipient is the Soldiers’ Mothers group, which vehemently campaigns against abuse of draftees’ rights in the Russian army.
The Kremlin is expected to officially announce the full list of NGOs that qualified for its grants on Wednesday.
Author: Julia Alieva