Statement by the Spokesperson on the inclusion of the Levada Centre in the "Foreign Agents Registry" of the Russian Federation
With the decision by the Russian Ministry of Justice yesterday to list the Levada Centre in the so called "Foreign Agents Registry", the restrictions on independent civil society in the Russian Federation became tighter.
The number of Russian NGOs labelled as "foreign agents" in the Russian Federation has increased to a total of 141 since the law entered into force in 2012.
Targeting the activities of the Levada Centre, Russia's leading non-governmental polling and sociological research organisation, is of particular concern ahead of the State Duma elections of 18 September.
We call once again on the Russian authorities to reconsider their decisions on branding Russian NGOs as "foreign agents", which is clearly aimed at restricting their independence and threatening their very existence.