PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: At the Security Council meeting on Saturday, my colleagues and I examined the draft law on non-governmental organisations that is currently before the State Duma.

I want to say once again that we need this law only in order to protect our political system from outside intervention and to protect our society and our people from anyone acting under the cover of this or that organisation to spread any sort of terrorist or misanthropic ideology. Unfortunately, we do encounter such cases; we do encounter various religious extremist tendencies. Ultimately, we end up having to take tough action to resolve this or that problem with the help of our law enforcement agencies. All of this should certainly be something the state keeps within its field of view.

But at the same time it is perfectly clear that modern Russia’s greatest achievement is the democratic process, the achievements of our civil society, and we cannot allow ourselves to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

It is for this reason that I sent Justice Minister Yury Chaika to Strasburg with instructions to hold consultations on this issue with our European colleagues.


(Addressing Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Sobyanin) I ask you as chief of the [Presidential] Executive Office to take into consideration the recommendations made by our European colleagues, and to definitely take into account the concerns expressed by the members of the Public Council and the representatives of Russian non-governmental organisations, make a summary of them and prepare for me within five days possible draft amendments to the law that will be sent to the State Duma on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation.