Strasbourg, 05.07.2013 - “I welcome the intention of President Putin, as expressed in a meeting yesterday with prominent Russian human right defenders, to amend the so-called law on “Foreign agents” in order to better define the political activities of NGOs. This development is clearly a step in the right direction. Defending principles of human rights and democracy cannot be considered a political activity.
I welcome too that President Putin has endorsed a proposal for the impartial public financing of NGOs. Granting NGOs additional support is positive move, given their vital role in a democracy.
The Council of Europe is ready to assist our Russian partners in these and any other initiatives aimed at safeguarding fundamental freedoms”, said Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.