06MOSCOW11637, NGO RE-REGISTRATION STATE-OF-PLAY AS OF OCTOBER 17

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11637 2006-10-17 14:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1802
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1637/01 2901459
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 171459Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4056
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 011637 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/17/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM PREL PREF RS
SUBJECT: NGO RE-REGISTRATION STATE-OF-PLAY AS OF OCTOBER 17 
 
Classified By: DCM Daniel A. Russell.  Reasons:  1.4 (b,d). 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (U) With the October 18 NGO re-registration deadline 
looming, the Federal Registration Service reports that: 
 
-- 80 NGOs have been re-registered, 42 of them U.S. NGOs; 
-- 70 re-registration applications are pending; 
-- only three NGOs have to date been denied re-registration. 
One of them, a Turkish NGO, has re-submitted its documents. 
 
2. (U) At an October 16 press conference, FRS Director 
Movchan elaborated the following framework for the 
re-registration process: 
 
-- October 18 is the deadline for "submitting notification of 
an intention to re-register."  NGOs not re-registered by 
October 18 will have as much time as necessary to provide the 
necessary documentation thereafter; 
 
-- However, those NGOs not re-registered by October 18 will 
be allowed to engage only in "internal activity," (activities 
necessary to keep their offices running), while being 
re-registered by the FRS.  Movchan's comments repudiate 
assertions by other senior officials that the GOR would 
extend the deadline to allow the full range of NGO activities 
to continue, and come despite DFM Yakovenko's previous 
comments to the Ambassador that the GOR understood the 
consequences of a freeze on NGO activity. In an October 17 
conversation with First Deputy Foreign Minister Denisov, the 
Ambassador again urged that NGOs be permitted to continue 
activities pending re-registration. Denisov said he 
understood the problem. End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
Registration Service Director Holds Press Conference 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
3. (U) Just days before the re-registration deadline, Federal 
Registration Service (FRS) Director Sergey Movchan on October 
16 held a press conference intended, Movchan said, to dispel 
myths and quell anxiety among NGOs navigating the process. 
Among Movchan's comments: 
 
-- it is a "myth" that the FRS will not accept documents 
necessary for re-registration after October 18; 
 
-- the FRS will not close NGOs that have not submitted all of 
their documents and been registered by that date; 
 
-- it is not/not true that foreign NGOs already working in 
Russia but not re-registered by October 18 will be closed; 
 
-- October 18 is the final date for submitting notification 
of intention to re-register.  If NGOs meet that notification 
deadline, they will have indefinite, additional time to 
submit further documents deemed by the FRS necessary for 
re-registration; 
 
-- until an NGO is re-registered, it will not be able to 
carry out program activity. It will be allowed to keep its 
office, pay its staff, and other bills; 
 
-- re-registration is necessary in order to produce one, 
comprehensive list of all foreign NGOs working in Russia.  At 
present, there is no such comprehensive list; 
 
-- to date, three NGOs have been denied registration.  One of 
them, a Turkish NGO, has re-submitted its documents; 
 
-- to date, 80 NGOs have been re-registered; 
 
-- of that number, 42 U.S. NGOs have completed the 
registration process; 
 
 --72 re-registration applications are currently being 
examined by the FRS.  Forty of those are U.S. NGOs. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Re-registering U.S. Concerns with MFA 
------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) In an October 17 conversation with First Deputy 
Foreign Minister Denisov, the Ambassador explained that 
Movchan's press conference contradicted private assurances by 
senior GOR officials that the deadline would be extended or 
external activities allowed to proceed.  He reviewed serious 
 
MOSCOW 00011637  002 OF 003 
 
 
concerns about the prospect of U.S. NGOs' external activities 
being frozen and noted our appreciation for DFM Yakovenko's 
previous commitment to look into the issue.  The Ambassador 
noted that U.S. NGOs were moving quickly to complete their 
registration packets in a good faith effort to comply with 
the GOR requirements.  Denisov said he understood the problem 
and would look into it further. 
 
----------------------- 
State-of-Play with NGOs 
----------------------- 
 
5. (U) Of the 27 NGOs USAID is tracking, as of October 16: 
 
-- 16 have submitted applications; 
 
-- 8 have not; 
 
-- 3 have been registered. 
 
6. (U) Among the prominent U.S. NGOs: 
 
-- Ford Foundation has been re-registered; 
 
-- Carnegie Endowment was re-registered on October 16; 
 
-- NDI submitted its documents on September 27, and does not 
expect to hear from the FRS until October 18.  It has 
postponed travel and programs planned both for the regions 
and for Moscow until re-registered.  The Ombudsman's' office 
has told NDI to let
it know, should NDI encounter 
difficulties with the process; 
 
-- Amcham has been re-registered; 
 
-- IRI submitted its documents on October 4, but has heard 
nothing to date from the FRS.  It is prepared to put its 
programs on hold on October 19, if necessary; 
 
-- Winrock International/Khabarovsk has been told by FRS it 
should receive a registration certificate soon; 
 
-- Eurasia will re-submit its amended application October 16. 
 
7. (C) Other NGO developments: 
 
-- Human Rights Watch (HRW) was called to FRS to discuss 
minor problems with its documents.  At that meeting, the FRS 
representative indicated HRW's registration approval had been 
signed and would be filed once the minor problems were solved; 
 
-- UN contacts have told Embassy that all NGOs working in 
North Caucasus except one had submitted their applications. 
The final NGO is expected to submit October 16.  UNICEF 
Country Director as UN humanitarian coordinator plans to ask 
the MFA for assistance in expediting re-registration of 
humanitarian aid agencies; 
 
-- International Rescue Committee (IRC) told Embassy it would 
submit its corrected application by October 18.  IRC did not 
believe it would be forced to suspend operations, but was 
making contingency plans; 
 
-- Kremlin-connected political analyst and Public Chamber 
member Sergey Markov told us he doubted the GOR would lift 
the injunction on external activities, despite Public Chamber 
Secretary Velikhov's written appeal.  Markov attributed this 
 
SIPDIS 
to Kremlin disengagement on the issue, noting that 
repercussions in the West were not a factor that would 
persuade the GOR to alter course.  Markov said he would 
himself re-raise the issue with Deputy Head of the 
Presidential Administration Surkov. 
 
-------------------------- 
Life After Re-registration 
-------------------------- 
 
8. (U) Post-October 18 steps for NGOs: 
 
-- Not long after the October 18 re-registration deadline, 
registered NGOs are required to submit an annual report, in 
which they must list programs which they plan to implement in 
Russia in 2007.  They are also required to submit quarterly 
financial reports.  The first of those will be due October 
31. At his press conference, Movchan said that any NGO 
failing to submit the required documents could be 
de-registered, but added that the FRS would work with each 
NGO as it navigated this new process. 
 
------- 
 
MOSCOW 00011637  003 OF 003 
 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9. (C) The GOR has been sending mixed signals on post-October 
18 operations, with FRS Director Movchan earlier assuring the 
Ambassador that NGOs would be able to continue operations. 
In meetings with the Ambassador, Human Rights Ombudsman Lukin 
and Presidential Administration Human Rights Chairwoman 
Pamfilova have also been encouraging. MFA officials, 
including DFM Yakovenko, have been sympathetic.  At his 
October 16 press conference, Movchan said emphatically that 
unregistered NGOs would have to suspend program activity 
until re-registered, but was at pains to assure his audience 
that the FRS would aid unregistered organizations in clearing 
the remaining hurdles.  The late filing of registration 
packets by some NGOs may translate into periods of forced 
inactivity after October 18. We will urge the expedited 
processing of the re-registrations, as well as encourage the 
GOR to be flexible in permitting NGO operations to continue. 
BURNS

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