Russian NGOs ask Putin to reveal details about "one billion dollar" foreign support

Leaders of 66 Russian non-governmental organisations signed a letter to President Vladimir Putin in response to his interview with the German TV company ARD.

Russian President told German journalists NGOs in Russia received about 1 billion USD of foreign funds in just last four months. Civil society organisations are surprised to learn such a figure – and they ask Putin to publish “the entire list of 654 NGOs, listing how much money each of them received in the past four months and which activities the money was spent on.”

Here is the full text of the letter:

 

Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

 

11 April 2013

 

Dear Mr. President,

In your interview with the German TV company ARD on 5 April 2013 you said:

“There are 654 non-governmental organisations in the Russian Federation that currently receive funds from abroad… In just the four months since we adopted the relevant law, 28 billion 300 million roubles were transferred to bank accounts of those organisations, which is about one billion US dollars. Eight hundred fifty five million roubles were transferred through diplomatic missions. These are organisations that are involved in internal political activities. Doesn’t our society have the right to know who receives the money and for what?”.

We agree that the society has the full right to know which organisations receive support, including foreign funding, the amount of funding and what it is spent on. In order to do so we, along with other non-profit organisations, place our annual reports on the website of the Ministry of Justice, where they are available to the public; they include all the information about funds received from abroad. Everyone can access this data.

However, because the figures you mentioned in the interview are several dozen times more than what we had thought the foreign aid to Russian NGOs was, we would like to know who are the exact organisations that receive such amounts of money.

We know that you may have access to information from special sources. Taking into account public interest in this issue, we urge you to order the immediate publication of the entire list of 654 NGOs, listing how much money each of them received in the past four months and which activities the money was spent on.

 

The list of signatories:

1) Arseniy Roginskiy, International historical-enlightment, human rights and charity organisation Memorial;

2) Natalya Taubina, Public Verdict Foundation (Moscow);

3) Igor Kalyapin, International Committee against Torture (Nizhniy Novgorod);

4) Yuri Dzhibladze, Centre for Development of Democracy and Human Rights (Moscow);

5) Svetlana Gannushkina, Committee of Civil Assistance to Refugees and Forced Migrants (Moscow);

6) Boris Pustyntsev, Human rights organisation Citizens’ Watch (St. Petersburg);

7) Alexander Cherkasov, Human Rights Centre Memorial (Moscow);

8) Liliya Shibanova, Association of non-profit organisations to support voters’ rights Golos (Moscow);

9) Svyatoslav Zabelin, International Socio-Ecological Union;

10) Alexey Simonov, Glasnost Defence Foundation (Moscow);

11) Viktor Kogan-Yasniy, “Right for Life and Civil Dignity (Moscow);

12) Natalya Zhukova, Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers;

13) Lidiya Grafova, International Public Movement “Forum of Migrants’ Organisations”;

14) Olga Smitnitskaya, Kaliningrad Regional Public Foundation “Dom” (Home);

15) Tamara Dobretsova, Kostroma Regional Public Ecological Movement “In the Name of Life”;

16) Irina Reznikova, Kostroma Regional Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers;

17) Igor Kochetkov, Russian LGBT Network (St. Petersburg);

18) Anna Anisimova, St. Petersburg LGBT organisation “Vyhod” (Way Out);

19) Andrey Rudomakha, Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus (Maykop);

20) Alexander Verkhovskiy, Information and Analytical Centre “Sova” (Moscow);

21) Olga Senova, Friends of Baltics (St. Petersburg);

22) Gennadiy Mingazov, Moscow Regional Green Cross;

23) Elena Grishina, Centre of Public Information (Moscow);

24) Askhat Kayumov, Ecological Centre “Dront” (Nizhniy Novgorod);

25) Ivan Pavlov, Foundation for Freedom of Information (St. Petersburg);

26) Sergey Valkov, Ivanovo Regional Organisation for Human Rights;

27) Mariya Kanevskaya, Resource Human Rights Centre (St. Petersburg);

28) Viktor Voronkov, Centre for Independent Sociological Research (St. Petersburg);

29) Dmitry Krayukhin, Information and Analytical Human Rights Agency “CentrRus” (Orel);

30) Veronika Katkova, Orel Regional Association of Golos NGO (Orel);

31) Mikhail Plyusnin, Vyatka Regional Children Public Organisation “Veche” (Kirov);

32) Grigory Sverdlin, St. Petersburg Charity Organisation “Nochlezhka” (Dosshouse);

33) Gabdulla Isakaev, Kurgan Regional Public Movement “For Fair Elections”;

34) Galina Kuznetsova, Kurgan Regional Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers;

35) Lyudmila Bazarova, Kurgan Regional Branch of Memorial;

36) Nikolay Rybakov, Ecological Human Rights Centre Bellona (St. Petersburg);

37) Galina Arapova, Centre for Protection of Rights of Media (Voronezh);

38) Alexander Kalikh, Perm Regional Branch of Memorial;

39) Tatyana Dorutina, Female Voters League (St. Petersburg);

40) Robert Latypov, Centre for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives (Perm);

41) Evgeniya Ivanova, “Sudarynya” (Taganrog);

42) Dmitry Dubrovskiy, “Pravo Znat” (The Right to Know) (St. Petersburg);

43) Alexey Kozlov, Charity Foundation for Ecological and Social Justice (Voronezh);

44) Viktor Yukechev, Institute for Development of Press – Siberia (Novosibirsk);

45) Dmitry Makarov, Youth Human Rights Movement (Voronezh);

46) Vladimir Slivyak, “Ecozashchita!” (Eco-Protection!) (Moscow – Kaliningrad);

47) Fyodor Kronikovskiy, Taiga Ecological Group (Primorye);

48) Mikhail Savva, South Regional Resource Centre (Krasnodar);

49) Aygul Sembaeva, German-Russian Exchange (St. Petersburg);

50) Lyudmila Alpern, Centre for Assistance to Criminal Justice Reform (Moscow);

51) Irina Fufayeva, Green World (Nizhniy Novgorod);

52) Leonid Grishin, Public Migrants’ Organisation “Uralskiy Dom” (Urals Home) (Zarechniy, Sverdlovsk region);

53) Mariya Ostrovskaya, “Perspektivy” (Perspectives) (St. Petersburg);

54) Natalya Pevtsova, Catholic Charity Centre “Caritas St. Petersburg”;

55) Natalya Tagiltseva, Sverdlovsk Regional Public Organisation “Nelegalov.Net” (Ekaterinburg);

56) Sergey Andreev, Altay Regional Public Foundation for Social Support and Civic Initiatives (Barnaul);

57) Evgeny Gontmakher, Committee of Civic Initiatives (Moscow);

58) Anna Orlova, Centre for Development of Non-Profit Organisations (St. Petersburg);

59) Lyudmila Alexeeva, Moscow Helsinki Group;

60) Oleg Sharipkov, Civic Union Foundation Олег Шарипков, (Penza);

61) Elena Panfilova, Centre for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiatives Transperency International – Russia (Moscow);

62) Pavel Chikov, AGORA Association (Kazan);

63) Anita Soboleva, Lawyers for Constitutional Rights and Freedoms (Moscow);

64) Lev Ponomaryov, All-Russia Public Movement for Human Rights;

65) Gyulnara Sultanova, LGBT Film Festival “Side by Side” (St. Petersburg);

66) Igor Chestin, World Wildlife Fund (Moscow).