06MOSCOW10704, HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN LUKIN ON NGO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW10704 2006-09-25 09:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8670
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0704/01 2680925
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 250925Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2846
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 010704 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/22/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN LUKIN ON NGO 
RE-REGISTRATION, DEMOCRACY ROUNDTABLE 
 
REF: MOSCOW 9565 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons:  1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) In a September 22 meeting with the Ambassador, Human 
Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin endorsed moving forward on 
the proposed U.S.-Russian roundtable on democracy and human 
rights, and said he was prepared to discuss modalities when 
in Washington October 10-12. Lukin offered to intercede on 
behalf of NGOs worried about excessive red tape in the 
re-registration process mandated by the new NGO law and 
concerned that they may have to cease program activities if 
not fully re-registered by October 18.  The problem of 
corruption in Russia was best broached by the two presidents. 
 The antidotes to corruption in Russia, Lukin thought, were 
good anti-trust legislation, a government willing to enforce 
the law, and political will.  Lukin also mentioned recent 
ethnic violence in Kondopoga (Karelia) as a by-product of 
globalization, societal factors, and inaction by the local 
authorities. 
 
------------------------------------- 
U.S.- Russian Roundtable on Democracy 
and Human Rights:  A Good Idea 
------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Lukin told Ambassador that Presidential Advisor 
Prikhodko had agreed for the Administration to an 
expert-level, non-governmental roundtable on democracy and 
human rights.  Lukin was prepared to travel to the U.S. 
October 10-12 to develop the idea further.  He thought he 
might have an opportunity to discuss the roundtable with 
President Putin in early October. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
NGO Re-registration:  Lukin Willing to Intercede 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
3. (C) The Ambassador summarized for Lukin Federal 
Registration Service (FRS) Director Movchan's August 30 
assertion (reftel) that NGOs, which had submitted their 
documents but were not re-registered by the October 18 
deadline, would be allowed to continue operations.  Since 
that meeting, some NGOs had been told by the FRS that they 
would have to suspend all but internal operations after 
October 18 until re-registered by the FRS. (Note:  In a 
September 19 meeting with Embassy representatives and a 
private-sector lawyer, FRS Director of Registration of 
Political Parties, NGOs, and Other Organizations Zhafyarov 
contended that NGOs not registered by October 18 would indeed 
have to halt all but internal operations, and produced a 
two-page document, which he said had just been posted on the 
FRS website, to buttress his claim.) 
 
4. (C)  Lukin said that several Russian human rights NGOs had 
expressed similar concerns.  His office was soliciting input 
on the re-registration process in the regions. Lukin noted 
several potential stumbling blocks in the process:  confusion 
about the October 18 deadline, an excessively bureaucratic 
process which "sometimes looks as if someone is asking for a 
bribe" and, "frankly," the "absence of order in the approach 
of some organizations" to the re-certification process. 
Lukin asked that the affected NGOs make their complaint to 
his office in writing, and he would endeavor to intercede 
with the FRS. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Corruption: USG Should Broach Subject 
at the Highest Levels 
------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Lukin agreed with Ambassador that corruption was a 
serious problem, and suggested that the solution lay in good 
anti-trust legislation administered by an "impartial" 
government possessing the requisite political will to tackle 
the problem.  The best way for the USG to approach the GOR, 
Lukin thought, would be if the two presidents engaged in a 
"constructive, practical" exchange of opinions. Much depended 
on the leadership, Lukin thought, noting that corruption in 
the Soviet Union was less widespread when Andropov --"a 
personally modest man"-- was General Secretary, then had been 
the case under other Soviet leaders. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Local, Global Factors Contribute to 
 
MOSCOW 00010704  002 OF 002 
 
 
Ethnic Violence in Russia 
----------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) In a September 22 conversation with Ambassador, Human 
Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin sourced recent ethnic unrest 
in the town of Kondopoga (Karelia) both to "deeper, societal 
causes" and to failures by the local police and the Kondopoga 
city administration. (Note:  A mid-September barroom brawl 
resulting in several deaths in Kondopoga was portrayed in the 
press and by rightist, anti-immigrant groups as the 
by-product of tensions between Slavs and "outsiders" from the 
Caucasus.) Lukin, who had traveled to Kondopoga to 
investigate in the wake of the September  violence, described 
to Ambassador the sequence of events as he understood them 
and noted with approval th
at four criminal cases had been 
opened there, including one against the local police force, 
which had "done nothing" to stop the violence.  Lukin traced 
the incident to "the weakness of the police and of the local 
administration" in Kondopoga, but added that a relatively 
high local unemployment rate (5.2 percent) may have added 
fuel to the fire. 
 
7. (C) In response to questions from the Ambassador, Lukin 
admitted that extremism of all kinds is increasing.  He 
thought the media played a role in fanning the flames but, 
noting similar incidents in other countries, suggested that 
globalization and migration were contributing factors.  Lukin 
believed that President Putin was worried about the problem, 
and was looking to "civilized patriotism" as an antidote to 
extremism.  Some in Russia, Lukin noted parenthetically, saw 
extremism as the inevitable by-product of a "refusal to adopt 
international values." 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (C) It was clear in his conversation with the Ambassador 
that Lukin understood the importance of allowing NGOs not 
successful in clearing all hurdles to re-registration before 
October 18 to remain in business. Ambassador has brought NGO 
uncertainties about the re-registration process to the 
attention of Duma Speaker Gryzlov and Duma Chairman of the 
International Relations Committee Kosachev.  He plans within 
the next week to reinforce NGO concerns with Chairwoman of 
the Presidential Council for Human Rights Panfilova and 
Deputy Foreign Minister Yakovenko. Embassy has brought its 
concerns about the varying interpretations of the October 18 
deadline directly to the attention of the FRS, and is 
currently working through the American Chamber of Commerce to 
have NGOs petition Lukin's office. (Septel will offer a 
scorecard of the current state-of-play among re-registering 
international NGOs.) 
BURNS

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