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Russian President Orders Rewrite of NGO Bill


Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his administration to study foreign and domestic criticism of a bill to strictly regulate non-governmental organizations.

Mr. Putin offered no specific suggestions, but ordered submission of amendments to the controversial bill within five days.

As presently written, the bill would subject Russian branches of foreign organizations to various restrictions and to the oversight of Russian authorities.

Human rights groups have condemned the measure, calling it a reflection of the Kremlin's crackdown on civil society institutions.

President Putin said Monday that such a bill is necessary to combat the threats of terrorism and what he called "misanthropic ideologies." But, he said, a civil society is crucial, and Russia cannot afford to curtail that development.