06MOSCOW12637, DUTCH NGO REFUSED RE-REGISTRATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12637 2006-11-27 13:12 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9040
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2637 3311312
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 271312Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5452
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 012637 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF PHUM EAID KDEM RS
SUBJECT: DUTCH NGO REFUSED RE-REGISTRATION 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell. 
Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
 
1.  (SBU) The Federal Registration Service refused the NGO 
Stichting Russia Justice Initiative (RJI) last week, citing 
technical problems with its application.  The technical 
reasons included questions about RJI Executive Director Ole 
Solvang's authority to represent RJI during the process and 
insufficient signatures from its board of directors on the 
application.  RJI assists Chechens in preparing cases for the 
European Court of Human Rights and has won three judgments 
against the Russian Government this year.  Solvang told us 
November 24 that he had been optimistic that RJI would be 
re-registered based on earlier conversations with 
registration service staff.  RJI subsequently received a 
formal letter of refusal.  (NOTE: In similar cases involving 
other NGOs, the registration service returned the 
applications for revision.) 
 
2.  (C) Solvang said that he was unsure whether the refusal 
was related to its work in the North Caucasus and its success 
in the European Court.  While there was no direct evidence to 
suggest there was a political motivation, Solvang questioned 
the basis of the refusal.  RJI would be looking at its 
options for resubmitting its application and in the interim, 
Solvang said he would seek a meeting with Registration 
Service Director Movchan and members of his staff involved in 
the decision to seek clarification on their rationale and the 
best way forward.  RJI will also ask the Dutch, Swedish, and 
Norwegian embassies and the European Commission -- its donors 
-- to weigh in with GOR on its behalf. 
 
3.  (SBU) According to the registration service website, as 
of November 24, 170 foreign NGOs had been re-registered, and 
24 others -- 13 of them American -- had applications under 
consideration.  Of the 29 NGOs that USAID is tracking, as of 
November 24, 19 have been re-registered, and 10 remain 
unregistered.  International Medical Corps, which is funded 
by PRM, was re-registered on November 22 and resumed its 
programs in the North Caucasus on November 23.  International 
Rescue Committee (IRC), which is funded by PRM and USAID, has 
yet to be re-registered, but IRC Country Director Amir 
Omanovich said a senior registration service official had 
hinted that it would be re-registered soon. 
 
4.  (SBU) Separately, World Wildlife Fund Director Igor 
Chestin, who is also a member of the Public Chamber and an 
interagency working group established to comment on NGO 
reporting guidelines, told USAID staff November 22 that the 
group had received very few comments on the draft guidelines 
from NGOs and they could be finalized by the end of the 
month.  Overall, Chestin noted that the guidelines added very 
little to already thin guidance in the original promulgation 
of the reporting forms in April.  Chestin said one of the 
problems is that key terms remain poorly defined, and they 
lacked clarity.   Chestin also noted that the registration 
service had complained that it was having difficulty managing 
the various registration processes under its authority and it 
needed 300 billion rubles (USD 11.3 million) to adequately 
deal with all its regulatory obligations. 
BURNS

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