Duma Passes NGO Law

Just a week after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev introduced the re-written law on Russian non-governmental organizations, the law passed the State Duma in the first reading.

Location wrote last week that the re-written text to the law could make fewer hurdles for Russian NGOs. The law has more relaxed restrictions on the civic groups than the legislations introduced by former president Vladimir Putin in 2006.

Voting on the law in the State Dume, Communist party Deputy Sergei Obukhov said President Dmitry Medvedev had proposed the bill Wednesday to appease Obama, who will visit Russia in early July. “Not everything that is good for Obama is good for Russia,” Obukhov said, according to  The Moscow Times.

The law passed with a vote of 391 to 57.

Commenting the bill last week, President Medvedev said the number of audits would be reduced for non-profit organizations to once every three years. The list of documents authorities are allowed to ask for checks will be restricted, and registration procedures will be simplified.