06MOSCOW12784, FOREIGN NGO RE-REGISTRATION NEARING ITS END

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12784 2006-12-04 16:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5630
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2784/01 3381630
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041630Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5653
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 012784 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM EAID KDEM RS
SUBJECT: FOREIGN NGO RE-REGISTRATION NEARING ITS END 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 12637 
     B. MOSCOW 12471 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Federal Registration Service (FRS) 
has re-registered 176 foreign NGOs as of December 1, with 
another 15 still under consideration, and it is nearing the 
end of this process.  Of the 29 NGOs tracked by USAID, 21 
have been re-registered, and eight are awaiting decisions 
from FRS.  For the NGOs still attempting to get 
re-registered, most have had applications returned for 
corrections in minor, technical details.  In the few cases we 
know where an NGO has been refused, one has overcome the 
refusal and two others are resubmitting their applications. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
LATEST COUNT 
------------ 
 
2.  (U) FRS is nearing completion of adjudication of 
applications filed by foreign NGOs for re-registration. 
According to the latest official statistics, as of December 
1, FRS has registered 176 NGOs and has applications from 
another 15 (six of them American) under review.  FRS does not 
post statistics of those NGOs that have submitted 
applications but had them returned for revision.  The Office 
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that 11 
of 15 foreign organizations working in the North Caucasus 
have been registered. 
 
3.  (SBU) In its own survey of 29 NGOs, USAID found that 
eight are still unregistered and in various stages of 
resubmitting applications following comments from FRS.  They 
are ABA/CEELI, MiraMed, Doctors of the World, Johns Hopkins 
University, International Rescue Committee, World Vision, 
Foundation for Russian-American Economic Cooperation, and 
Eurasia Foundation.  Reasons for the delays in 
re-registration range from minor revisions requested by FRS, 
such as placement of apostilles or wording changes 
(International Rescue Committee, World Vision, ABA/CEELI, 
Johns Hopkins) to larger questions about tax-exempt status in 
the U.S. (Foundation for Russian-American Economic 
Cooperation).  Eurasia Foundation was told that there were no 
problems with its application, but that it had been sent to a 
review "commission" pending a final decision.  (NOTE: Eurasia 
Foundation is the first NGO to have reported the existence of 
this "commission," and it is not clear what the "commission" 
is.  END NOTE)  NGOs that have been asked for minor revisions 
told us they do not believe delays in re-registering them 
were politically motivated, but rather, that FRS has 
inconsistent in reviewing documents. 
 
4.  (SBU)  FRS has not publicly released information on the 
NGOs refused.  Three NGOs have told us they have been 
refused.  One of them, Handicapped International, 
successfully re-applied shortly after its initial refusal. 
Russia Justice Initiative will submit a new application after 
being refused and further discussion with FRS (ref A). 
Doctors of the World was refused on November 27, despite 
on-going discussions with FRS, and is awaiting official 
notification of the reasons for its refusal. 
 
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 
---------------------- 
 
5.  (SBU)  Other NGOs that have been registered are now in 
the process of submitting required annual activity reports 
and quarterly financial statements.  They said that thus far, 
FRS has taken a casual approach to these reports (ref B).  An 
interagency commission recently circulated the final draft of 
reporting guidelines seeking additional comments from NGOs. 
USAID's review of this final draft indicated some small 
improvements on previous drafts, such as a revision that NGOs 
had to report only on "major" activities in the annual 
reports, but generally the guidelines seem to be a 
restatement of the original forms promulgated in April. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6.  (SBU) Re-registration of foreign NGOs has not been 
without its problems, but generally the results have borne 
out the view that most NGOs would ultimately be registered. 
At this point, it appears that the difficulties some NGOs 
have experienced are more the result of the bureaucracy 
instituting a new process than any ill intentions toward them 
or their activities.  Human Rights Watch, Amnesty 
International, and some others that potentially could have 
run afoul of the GOR were registered, and several of those 
awaiting decisions have been told informally that there 
should be no further problem in getting registered.  FRS 
continues to say that those refused may re-apply immediately, 
 
MOSCOW 00012784  002 OF 002 
 
 
and the two organizations we know that have been refused 
intend to do so.  We will continue to follow their progress, 
and perhaps more importantly, the FRS's reporting guidelines 
and their application. 
BURNS

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