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Putin Concedes 'Foreign Agent' Law Needs Improvements

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting with representatives of the G20 Civil Summit in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged his government ought to “improve” its controversial law aimed at reining in non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Putin made the statement on Friday at a meeting of civic leaders from around the world.

Putin signed the law in July last year requiring Russian NGOs that receive funding from overseas to register as “foreign agents.” It also says that materials published and distributed by these organizations - such as brochures or online literature - must bear a stamp saying they were produced by people “carrying out the role of a foreign agent.”

Putin said Friday his government needs to “analyze the practice of how [this law] is applied” and that it should be improved so that "it does not bother anyone.”

Arkadi Dvorkovich, a deputy prime minister in Russia, earlier told the representatives at the two-day Civil20 Summit that he is “prepared to hand over a package of amendments to the NGO legislation to the Russian government and support them as a citizen.”