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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12310 2006-11-03 16:15 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow


DE RUEHMO #2310 3071615
R 031615Z NOV 06

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 012310 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2016 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell. 
Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  The re-registration of foreign NGOs is 
continuing apace, with 148 approved by the backlogged Federal 
Registration Service.  A majority of U.S. NGOs known to the 
Embassy are re-registered, with Human Rights Watch expecting 
approval any day.  In the North Caucasus, the FRS and tax 
authorities are enforcing the ban on external activities by 
groups whos status is pending, but disruptions in assistance 
programs are minimal.  To date, the filing of annual reports 
by re-registered NGOs has not precipitated complaints, but 
this process is in its preliminary phase.  We expect that 
registrations will continue, but re-registration is only the 
first step, and there could be further complicatons that may 
require further Embassy intervention with the FRS and other 
agences.  END SUMMARY. 
2.  (SBU) The Federal Registration Service (FRS) has 
re-registered 148 foreign NGOs as of November 3, with another 
41 applications under consideration and 25 others returned 
for revision.  Five NGOs have been refused but the FRS has 
provided no further information, and we do not believe any of 
them are American.  The last-minute submissions of many NGOs 
have left the agency with a slight backlog.  FRS staff has 
told several NGOs to stop calling about the status of their 
applications and that they are working through them as 
quickly as possible.  According to some NGO contacts, the FRS 
is reviewing applications in chronological order of 
submission and is currently up to those submitted October 16. 
3.  (SBU) Of the 29 NGOs being tracked by USAID, 17 have been 
re-registered and 12 are still awaiting a decision.  Of the 
four NGOs supported by PRM, and included in USAID's tracking, 
CARE Canada was registered November 3 while the other three 
-- International Medical Corps, World Vision, and 
International Rescue Committee -- are still awaiting a 
decision.  Separately, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty 
International are awaiting decisions, but Human Rights Watch 
has been told it could be re-registered any day now. 
4.  (C) NGO contacts in the North Caucasus have told us that 
law enforcement and tax authorities have visited various NGOs 
to check their registration status and to ascertain if they 
have suspended their activities.  The Federal Security 
Service denied authorization for World Vision and Action 
Contre la Faim staff to enter Chechnya because neither has 
been re-registered.  The FSB has said that access to Chechnya 
will only be granted to NGOs that can produce a valid copy of 
their registration from the FRS.  UN and NGO contacts have 
told us that thus far, enough NGOs have been re-registered 
and the duration of the suspension has been limited so that 
disruptions in humanitarian aid programs have been minimal. 
5.  (SBU) The October 31 deadline for submitted annual 
program reports passed relatively quietly.  Under revised 
guidelines issued by the FRS, these reports are due within 30 
days after an NGO is re-registered.  About half of those 
already re-registered have submitted them but have kept 
program descriptions to a minimum while waiting for FRS to 
revise the reporting procedures.  Two new issues have 
emerged, however.  Some NGOs have reported that the FRS and 
the tax service have registered them under different 
formulations of their name.  Despite assurances from the FRS 
these name changes would be coordinated with the tax service, 
this does not seem to be the case, and it could lead to 
bureaucratic headaches.  Others have told us that there are 
potential visa problems for expat staff because the new law 
no longer allows the Registration Chamber, the entity 
formerly responsible for providing accreditation to NGOs, to 
sponsor visas for these organizations, and new sponsors need 
to be found. 
6.  (C) COMMENT:  We expect that additional registrations 
will continue in the next several days and that most NGOs 
will resume their activities without too much disruption. 
The backlog that has built up is a function of last-minute 
submissions and the FRS' limited experience in dealing with 
foreign NGOs.  Most NGOs do not seem too worried about the 
prospects of the initial reporting requirements but the FRS 
has not yet completed the reporting guidelines or begun 
reviewing the reports.  The visa and tax issues are typical 
of the lack of coordination within the Russian bureaucracy 
and may require further Embassy intervention with the FRS and 
other agencies.  We will continue to follow up.  END COMMENT. 


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