Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested changes to soften a draft law that would place restrictions on non-governmental organizations.

A Kremlin statement says the Russian leader has suggested scrapping a clause that would require foreign NGOs to register as Russian entities. Instead, Mr. Putin proposed that they be required only to inform authorities of their presence.

The draft law also would expand government oversight of non-governmental groups and ban their acceptance of foreign funds for political activities.

Human rights groups and western governments have expressed concern over the measure, calling it a reflection of the Kremlin's crackdown on civil society institutions.

Russian lawmakers gave preliminary approval to the draft last month. Two more votes are required for final approval.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.