[JURIST] A controversial Russian law imposing restrictions on domestic and foreign nongovernmental organizations operating in the country took effect Monday. The new law, signed [JURIST report] by Russian President Vladimir Putin in January, implements strict registration requirements, imposes financial oversight on NGO operations, and provides for dissolution if an organization's activities "threaten Russia's independence or sovereignty" or if a group participates in activities deemed to deviate from its explicit mission statement. Putin has defended the law as necessary to protect against "puppeteers abroad" [JURIST report].
The law has been widely criticized [JURIST report] by the US and the international community. In January, US diplomats at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [official website] said the NGO law fails to meet human rights standards [speech, PDF] and fails to fulfill Russia's OSCE commitments. Reuters has more. RIA Novosti has local coverage.