Despite being branded a foreign agent, the NGO Transparency International said it will continue its battle against corruption in Russia.
“As currently the priorities of the state have been set in the wrong order, battling corruption belongs to the second tier of priorities. It seems to me the people have become more active than the state in this field – thanks to citizen watch, investigative journalism and activists,” Yelena Panfilova, who headed the Russian branch of the organization, but is now the vice-chair of the umbrella organization's board, told ERR's Neeme Raud.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said corruption must be tackled, but third-sector, foreign-financed organizations is of a greater concern as Western nations may use these NGOs to meddle in Russian internal politics and instigate a revolt.
Panfilova said this shows that the Kremlin's political fears outweigh the desire to fight corruption.
According to the latest Transparency International report, Russia is the 136th least corrupt nation on earth.
The law in question requires NGOs engaged in what Russia says 'political activity', and receive foreign funding, to register as a foreign agent with state authorities.
Editor: J.M. Laats