06MOSCOW11689, DEADLINE FOR FOREIGN NGO RE-REGISTRATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11689 2006-10-18 14:14 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2965
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1689 2911414
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 181414Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4133
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 011689 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PREF KDEM EAID RS
SUBJECT: DEADLINE FOR FOREIGN NGO RE-REGISTRATION 
 
REF: MOSCOW 11637 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell. 
Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Federal Registration Service officials 
suggested October 18 that they expect all foreign NGOs that 
have applied for re-registration to be approved as the 
deadline for applications passed.  According to the latest 
FRS statistics, 91 NGOs have been re-registered, and 79 
others have applications pending.  Separately, NGOs that have 
not been approved told us they will maintain a low profile 
and wait for decisions on their applications, with some NGO 
contacts saying they will suspend operations.  Although there 
may be some disruptions in programming, it appears that FRS 
is offering reassurances to calm some of the anxiety.  We 
have sent suggested press guidance separately to the 
Department.  END SUMMARY. 
 
A QUESTION OF TIME 
------------------ 
 
2.  (SBU) Anatoliy Ponchenko, the deputy head of the FRS 
department responsible for re-registering NGOs, told 
reporters October 18 that FRS has re-registered 91 foreign 
NGOs, up from the 80 FRS reported on October 16.  Ponchenko 
said he expected the other 79 with applications under review 
by the FRS to be approved as well.  Some would be approved 
quickly, and some slightly later, Ponchenko said, but this 
was simply a matter of time.  Ponchenko specifically listed 
AmCham and the Carnegie Foundation as two NGOs that had been 
re-registered.  The FRS has also posted a list of approved 
NGOs and those that have decisions pending on its website 
(www.rosregistr.ru/docs/inko01.doc and 
www.rosregistr.ru/docs/inko02.doc) although the lists seem to 
be slightly out of date. 
 
3.  (SBU) Among the NGOs that we are tracking, USAID partners 
ACDI/VOCA and Winrock International were re-registered on 
October 17 and October 18, respectively.  NDI told us that it 
had received a request from the FRS for "cosmetic changes" in 
its application and was optimistic it would be re-registered 
as soon as next week but would halt its programs in the 
interim.  IRI has as yet heard nothing from FRS after 
submitting its application on October 4. 
 
4.  (C) Many of our contacts told us that, if they were not 
approved before the deadline passed on October 18, they would 
maintain a low profile, suspend their programs, and wait for 
the FRS decision.  Despite additional statements from FRS 
Director Movchan that NGOs that were not re-registered could 
only conduct internal activities and should suspend external 
ones (reftel), some NGO contacts told us they were still 
unsure what exactly was and was not permissible.  A few 
others said they interpreted the law differently and asserted 
they could continue with program activities, despite the FRS 
statements to the contrary.  A UN contact who works closely 
with NGOs distributing aid in the North Caucasus told us that 
he hoped that those who had not been re-registered would 
continue their operations, and the UN would approach the MFA 
on their behalf.  Separately, Kjetil Helstad, deputy country 
director at the Danish Rescue Council (DRC), the largest NGO 
working in the North Caucasus, said it would suspend 
operations through October 20 and then reassess whether to 
resume them.  (NOTE:  DRC is being cautious because of some 
recent press stories alleging some of its aid was being 
diverted to Chechen rebels and past scrutiny by GOR security 
services.) 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
5.  (C)  Ponchenko's comments appear to be a further signal 
to reassure foreign NGOs, and FRS approvals seem to be on the 
rise.  Ponchenko offered nothing that would contradict 
earlier statements that those not re-registered would have to 
suspend programs, however, and there may be some disruptions. 
 We have sent suggested press guidance separately to the 
Department. 
BURNS

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